Fans of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series have been waiting a long time for its big-screen adaption. The project has been a source of constant frustration for many years with several attempts to bring the story to theaters (and television) being announced, only to stall out before production could officially begin. Thankfully all that is in the past, as the project not only has a director and a growing cast, but filming has already started in the hopes of hitting its early 2017 release date. With all that in place, more and more information regarding the project has been coming steadily through the pipeline, assuring even the most skeptical of fans that the film is in fact going to be made.
Even King has taken to Twitter recently to confirm the casting of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as the film’s lead characters. And now with two huge stars in place, the production has set itself to the task of filling supporting roles, which so far includes Tom Taylor as Jake Chambers, Abbey Lee as Tirana, and most recently, Jackie Earle Haley as Sayre. Clearly with a film this big, more actors are expected, and today it was announced that Fran Kranz has joined the film as well.
The Cabin in the Woods star will play the role of Pimli Prentiss, who, according to THR is “the right-hand man of the Man in Black.” The Man in Black, of course, is the film’s primary antagonist, played by McConaughey. That means the normally affable Kranz may find himself going up against Elba’s Roland Deschain, a.k.a. The Gunslinger, at some point in an attempt to keep the hero from reaching the titular Dark Tower.
The casting of Kranz in this role is an intriguing one, not only because of how the character of Pimli was described in the books, but also for the actor’s past roles. Kranz is a favorite of Joss Whedon, having had a significant role in the short-lived Dollhouse series and a major part in the aforementioned horror-comedy The Cabin in the Woods, as a likable stoner who was quick with a quip, especially in life-and-death circumstances. As such, Kranz is perhaps best known for his comedic performances, so seeing him take on a villainous role should be interesting, if for no other reason than to see if he can excel in what figures to be a vastly different kind of character.
With a good portion of the primary cast now confirmed, it’s up to director Nikolaj Arcel to deliver on the epic story from one of the world’s most prolific writers. It’s a daunting task, as expectations will almost certainly be through the roof, but given the arduous journey the book series has taken to get to the big screen, the fact that it’s being made at all should feel like something of a victory.
The Dark Tower is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on February 17th, 2017.