After a long struggle to bring Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series to the big screen, Sony Pictures stepped in and picked up the pace; setting a release date for 2017 and looking to start production in early 2016.
The Dark Tower has found its director in Nikolaj Arcel, best known for writing the screenplay for the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and directing the 2012 movie, A Royal Affair. The Dark Tower screenplay comes from Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and is understood to be based on the first of King’s books from the seven volume series. Arcel is now working on a script rewrite with another Danish filmmaker, Anders Thomas Jensen.
It was recently reported that Matthew McConaughey was Sony’s first choice for the role of The Dark Tower's main villain, The Man in Black (Randall Flagg) - and now another casting choice has come to light, with Deadline reporting that Idris Elba is the frontrunner for the role of Roland Deschain, AKA The Gunslinger.
Previous to the Elba reports, Javier Bardem’s name was also connected with the role of The Gunslinger in what Sony apparently hopes will be the first in a series of Dark Tower movies. While Bardem is a fine actor and a sound choice, it would be great to see Elba finally land the starring role that he seems so deserving of.
Elba is an actor whose star is rising fast. It seemed inevitable that at some point something big would come along, and this could well be it. Just yesterday (December 9th), Elba was nominated for a SAG award for his supporting role in the Netflix original movie, Beasts of No Nation, directed by Cary Fukunaga. He stars in acclaimed BBC TV detective series, Luther, which soon returns for a one-night special, and is also set for a villainous role in Star Trek Beyond (which opens in 2016).
Apart from that, most people will know Elba’s name for being associated with possibly playing the next James Bond. While any Bond discussion is simply fans and media throwing different names into the mix, Elba seems a popular choice. If he does emerge as the Gunslinger, however, we can expect any Bond rumours to die down, since it’s unlikely he would take on two film franchises.
It’s important to stress that no deal is signed, and no comment has been issued by Sony or Elba yet. However, if this comes off, it seems as though The Dark Tower would be a better creative choice for Elba anyhow, since it gives him the chance to bring a literary character to life rather than following in the footsteps of several other actors who have taken on Bond. King wrote Deschain as white, but that has no actual bearing on the storyline or plot in any way. It would also be great to see him square off against McConaughey on the big screen.
The Dark Tower has a huge legion of fans which have been waiting for this film adaptation to make it to production. Now it looks as though things are moving in the right direction at last. What do you make of the possible casting choices?
The Dark Tower is currently scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on January 13th, 2017.