‘Dark Tower’ Movie Casts Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Plot Dives Right Into ‘Drawing Of The Three’

Book covers for 'The Dark Tower' series.
Book covers for 'The Dark Tower' series. Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Readers of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series have been fan casting for so long that Clint Eastwood was young enough to be a viable dream lead. On Tuesday Stephen King announced that actors have finally been picked to embody gunslinger Roland Deschain and his nemesis, the magical, demoniac Man in Black. The Dark Tower movie will star Idris Elba as Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black.

The Dark Tower will finally come to screens on Jan. 13, 2017, 35 years after the first novel’s publication and 47 years after Stephen King began writing his ultimate saga.

“The thing is, it’s been a loooong trip from the books to the film,” King told Entertainment Weekly, who first reported the Dark Tower casting, “When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little shitty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now.”

The movie will be directed by Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) who will share co-writing credit with Anders Thomas Jensen (Men & Chicken), Akiva Goldsman (Insurgent, Winter’s Tale, The 5th Wave), and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

“What Stephen King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical,” Arcel said to EW.

It would be nice if Arcel and Jensen made substantial rewrites to what the coven of Hollywood hacks wrote when the movie was still in development for Ron Howard and Javier Bardem, but King affirmed that Goldsman’s vision is still intact. You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer. The team is in place, so we’ll hope for the best.” It’s unfortunate “the best” includes Goldsman, who managed to wreck both the Spider-Man and Batman movie series before embracing his destiny at the helm of the ongoing Transformers series.

The Dark Tower series follows a gunslinger’s search for the nexus of all space-time, the Dark Tower. His journey takes him across a post-apocalyptic landscape and through a kaleidoscope of parallel worlds, many of which are from other Stephen King novels.

“A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world,” Arcel told EW. This can only mean one thing: the first movie in The Dark Tower series will glide over the events of the first novel and primarily involve The Drawing of the Three, in which Roland recruits allies from our world.

King all but confirmed The Drawing of the Three will be the primary source material for the first Dark Tower movie, telling EW, “[The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it, because it is the story.”

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