Ahead of the theatrical release of the much anticipated adaptation of the original fantasy series The Dark Tower (originally created by celebrated horror writer Stephen King), fans of the wildly imaginative property have been teased with their first glimpses of Idris Elba (Star Trek Beyond) as Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey (Free State of Jones) as the Man in Black. Potential viewers and longtime readers of the eight volume series of books might also know that the new movie from director Nikolaj Arcel (who co-wrote the screenplay for the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) will take place at an undetermined mid-point in King's cycle of novels (a fact that was further corroborated by the author himself).
King readers the world over are no doubt eager to learn more about the production of the new movie that has been in the making for several years at this point, with such highly acclaimed directors as J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Ron Howard (In the Heart of the Sea) attached to the project over the course of the late 2000s and early 2010s. But with Arcel in full control of the production at this point in time, The Dark Tower is finally going full steam ahead as can be seen by the latest image and details from the set.
Courtesy of EW, a brand new San Diego Comic Con themed issue will focus on the production of The Dark Tower based on an exclusive visit to the new movie's set. Speaking to both of the film's stars and the rest of Arcel's crew resulted in plenty of material for longtime fans and first time visitors to the post-apocalyptic wastes of Mid-Land to dive into, in addition to an exclusive magazine cover featuring Elba and McConaughey front and center (plus a stirring new image of the Gunslinger himself).
Readers of EW can expect to receive the following information about The Dark Tower movie from the forthcoming issue in full:
- Exclusive photos, showing the vast plains of Mid-World, the shadowy Dixie Pig hideaway of the demons who infest our world, and the visions of a boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Holloway) who is either the key to saving the mythic Tower or the instrument of its destruction.
- Revelations from director Nikolaj Arcel (the Oscar-nominated A Royal Affair, and one of King’s lifelong Constant Readers) about where the story picks up, which elements from the novels are being explored – and which are being left out.
- Elba on the redemption story of Roland, who has “forgotten the face of his father” (or lost his way) in his relentless pursuit of the Man in Black. The actor also comments for the first time about race-swapping the Gunslinger, who until now has always been depicted as white.
- McConaughey on the loneliness of evil, the reasons his villain “reveres” the hero chasing him, and why The Man in Black has taken a real shine to present-day New York City.
- Finally, as an extra treat, King himself weighs in on the film, explains what he asked to change in the script, and provides new insight into how the Tower saga connects to some of his other books, like The Shining, The Stand, and one long-ago short story.
Check out the exclusive EW magazine cover and image below:
Speaking to the motivations that will serve to stand behind Roland the Gunslinger in Arcel's new film, Elba was candid in divulging the infamous hero's many motivations and character quirks. While imbuing the role with plenty of cinematic gravity and allusions to classic Western movie genre tropes, Elba stated:
"When we meet Roland he’s a bit lost. He’s been walking around for a long time, so he definitely feels like a man who’s… coiled. There’s a sense of, ‘You’ve forgotten your purpose.' He’s a protector."
It certainly seems as though viewers will have plenty to look forward to when Arcel's film finally reaches general audiences in February 2017. Elba and McConaughey certainly look primed to bring their A-game to their respective roles, which serves to imbue plenty of hope and optimism leading up to the long-awaited theatrical release of The Dark Tower.
The Dark Tower will see theatrical release in the U.S. on February 17, 2017.