The long awaited cinematic adaption of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower has made its debut to poor reviews. Despite the critic’s opinions, there’s been high praise for the casting of the two leads; Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black, and Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger. The Dark Tower won’t have an amazing box office run, but given that it was made on a reported budget of just $60 million, it should just about recoup enough to ensure the franchise continues in one form or another. While we might not see a string of Dark Tower movies, it seems a pretty safe bet that the long-planned Dark Tower TV series will still happen.
Just this week, Walking Dead showrunner Glenn Mazzara has been appointed to helm the project, while The Dark Tower movie director, Nikolaj Arcel, is involved in the writing process. The TV show will see Elba and Tom Taylor reprise their roles as Roland and Jake Chambers, respectively, with McConaughey not yet confirmed. However, while Elba will feature, the bulk of the show will adapt King’s fourth book in the series, ‘Wizard and Glass,’ which tells of Roland’s origins and how he came to be a gunslinger. In the novel, Roland is wise beyond his years, studious, solemn, and yet also still very green. The role of young Roland (aged around) will be up for grabs, but who could take on such a mammoth task?
Cyler is best known for his roles in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and as the Blue Ranger, Billy, in the latest Power Rangers movie reboot. Though Power Rangers received mixed reviews, Cyler was singled out for high praise from critics. His character, Billy, has autism, and Cyler’s portrayal was sensitive, tactful, and heartwarming. He’s certainly proven he has the ability to take on a role like Roland Deschain but sadly, at 22 years of age, he might be considered too old, despite his youthful appearance.
Again, at the older end of the age spectrum, Sanders became the subject of great critical acclaim and several accolades for his role as a young gay man struggling with his sexuality in the Academy Award winning Moonlight. For that role, Sanders said he tapped into his own experiences of bullying, as well as relationships with those suffering from addiction. To that end, he could be just the person to bring to life the solemn Roland, who, along with his two closest friends and allies, has to suffer the prejudice of being the new guy in a small town where no one really wants them.
At 17, Brown could be the perfect casting for the young Roland; he looks young enough to play a convincing 14-year-old, but old enough that he can portray the world-weariness that seems to weigh Roland down at times. Brown has already made a strong name for himself as Roger ‘R.J.’ Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, the TV show based off the 1987 hit movie of the same name. If Brown were to appear in The Dark Tower series, it would be a huge step in his career.
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