After redefining the concept of "development hell," Stephen King's genre-spanning The Dark Tower actually, genuinely has its stars in Idris Elba, who'll play Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey as the face- and name-shifting Man in Black. The news came via King's Twitter on Tuesday morning. He also did a long interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying:
“The thing is, it’s been a looong trip from the books to the film. 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. I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised.”
Of the (amazing) choice to flip Roland's race, King says:
“For me the character is still the character. It’s almost a Sergio Leone character, like ‘the man with no name.’ He can be white or black, it makes no difference to me. I think it opens all kind of exciting possibilities for the backstory.”
McConaughey and Elba got in on the fun on Twitter:
Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel is co-writing and directing. He previously adapted The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for Niels Arden Oplev's Swedish version. Joining him on the Tower script are Anders Thomas Jensen, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner. Producers include Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins.
And guess what, Constant Reader? The series' opening line, and the most famous in King's canon—"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed"—will open the film, too. Seems like we're in great hands.