Stephen King’s horror western classic, The Dark Tower, languished for nearly a decade in development before receiving the green light to make its way to the big screen. Well worth the wait, the big screen adaption is currently filming in several locations, including South Africa and New York City. As production continues, several photos have leaked out, revealing a first look at Matthew McConaughey as the villainous Walter Padick, “The Man in Black”, and star Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger.
The leaks were just enough to whet the appetites of curious fans, giving them a look at McConaughey with long nails and Elba strapped with his trademark pistols. New shots emerged today, providing a better view of Elba as the Gunslinger in the Big Apple.
Recently, Just Jared got a hold of a more extensive batch of stills of the mysterious hero while The Dark Tower production filmed exterior shots. In the pics, the British actor is seen exiting what looks like a brownstone, apartment, or an alleyway. Clad in a black trench coat, he also sports a uniquely apocalyptic-western shirt, and of course, his namesake six shooters. Several stills give us a closer look at the bullets and one of the pistols Deschain will unleash upon his enemies during his quest.
Since the mythos of The Dark Tower series approximate a medieval quest crossed with a post-apocalyptic western, Deschain’s pistols equate to his sword in the overall theme. Stephen King never actually names a make or model of the iconic weapons (seeing as the books take place in an alternate universe), but are supposedly similar in description to a .45 caliber Long Colt or a Colt Peacemaker, a classic Wild West weapon. Although it’s difficult to tell from the close-ups, whichever guns the prop masters chose seem to fit both Elba’s character and the universe director Nikolaj Arcel is constructing from King's imagination.
As production continues, hopefully more photos will spill out, giving Dark Tower enthusiasts more information. What little we do know hints that elements of the story will either be taken out of sequence or rearranged from the books. For example, the Gunslinger’s protégé Jake (Tom Taylor) will be joined by his best mate Timmy (played by Michael Barbieri). In the books, Timmy's character doesn’t appear until the third book, The Waste Lands. Also, since the film will serve as an introduction to Elba’s Roland Deschain, the first book, The Gunslinger, clearly comes into play. The New York exterior shooting locations also imply a visit to alternate NYC, where Roland recruits several members of his ka-tet (albeit while not physically in the city, sort of) during the second book, The Drawing of the Three.
Since King mentioned that the film version would start “in the middle of the story,” rather than the beginning, these inferences make some degree of sense. Still, at this point, there has been no mention of a casting call for Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, or the psychopathic Jack Mort thus far. It’s possible these characters are being cast in secret or won’t show up until later in the film series (assuming The Dark Tower is successful). Of course, Jake and his mother also lived in New York City, before fate draws him to Roland. As such, it's possible the NYC exteriors culminate with their meeting, leading to further adventures in Mid-world and beyond.
The Dark Tower will see theatrical release in the U.S. on February 17, 2017.
Source: Just Jared