Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey have revealed their reasons for joining The Dark Tower. The film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel series of the same name has been in various stages of development for the past 10 years, with directors and producers such as J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard attached to the project at different times. In 2015, Sony Pictures announced they were working with Media Rights Capital to fast-track The Dark Tower adaptation for an early 2017 release — though the film had since been delayed to August 2017.
Shortly after the movie’s announcement, McConaughey joined the film as the main villain, Walter o’Dim, aka the Man in Black — though King fans may recognize the character as Randall Flagg, a villain that has appeared throughout the author’s Dark Tower series as well as The Stand. Elba had also boarded the project, though he was playing the hero, Roland Deschain, aka the Gunslinger — the protagonist and last surviving gunslinger. Although these roles differed from both actors’ previous roles, many people praised the casting choices, including King himself, and we now know why they took on their roles in the first place.
In an interview with CinemaBlend ahead of The Dark Tower‘s release this coming weekend, Elba and McConaughey have revealed that being part of a potential new franchise from the get-go was among the main reasons that they chose to star in Nikolaj Arcel’s film. Here’s what Elba said about his choice:
“What brought me was this opportunity to make something original, something that was definitely going to be an exercise for the imagination of any audience, whether you read the books or not. Getting to play a gunslingin’ hero, that was my main one. Outside of wanting to work with Matthew [McConaughey] and Nic [Arcel] and the Sony team, it was really about this page one fantastic new idea, new film, new concept, new franchise, new hero.”
McConaughey has previously said that he has been offered roles for both Marvel and DC Comics movie, yet he’s turned them all down. It’s not that he didn’t like those movies; it turns out, he wanted to be a part of something from the ground-up and not join the fold in the second or third installment.
“There are franchises out there, and I’ve seen them, had some offers, and they were ones that I even liked. But I felt like they were the second or third one, and the characters I was being offered were sort of an amendment to the story, because they’d succeeded earlier. This came across my desk, and I said, ‘Oh, this is original, a chance to get in on the ground floor, to have some authorship with the character that I would go play.’ To get in with Idris, Nikolaj, and Sony, and the creators, and go ‘Hey, we’re gonna be the first to tell the story. We’re gonna be the first to present you The Dark Tower.’ And if it’s a success, we can come back and do another one.”
Unfortunately, the film has been plagued with negative press leading into the movie’s release this coming weekend. It was reported earlier today that Arcel had clashed with the studio over the early cut of the movie, which ended with Sony reportedly being heavily involved with post-production. Regardless, many people are interested in seeing The Dark Tower adaptation in theaters, and if it’s successful, the chances of them moving forward with the planned sequels and TV adaptation will be high.
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