The road from page to screen for Stephen King’s beloved The Dark Tower series has been so long and circuitous that many fans doubted an adaptation would ever come to light. Years of false starts, redirections, rights losses, and directorial interest plagued the would-be movie, putting the series firmly in the realm of development hell from which many readers believed the story could never ascend.
Indeed, the task of adapting King’s seminal work is daunting. The seven book series, which took the prolific writer decades to complete, is a complicated epic whose web is spun so widely that it affects the narrative of many of King’s other works. But the wheels of Ka are ever turning, and fans have much to look forward to as the adaptation continues its production. Much of the cast is already in place, with Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) starring as series hero Roland Deschain, a knight-like figure who wields a six-shooter instead of a sword, and Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar) as the evil, mysterious Man in Black, whom Roland chases on his quest to find the titular Dark Tower.
While production is currently well underway, the cast list for The Dark Tower keeps growing. Now, Variety reports that Katheryn Winnick (Vikings) has signed on for an as-yet-unnamed role in the series. Speculation abounds as to who she might portray, but so far Sony has remained mum on her character.
Recent announcements regarding the adaptation throw into question how faithful the series will remain to the books, making speculation as to her character somewhat difficult. In addition to the main cast, the characters of Tirana, Pimli, and Sayre we revealed to be played by Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road), Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods), and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), respectively. None of the announced characters appear in the books until later in the series, raising the question of how they’re going to fit into the first movie.
While there are plenty of female characters in the books for Winnick to play, none of them appear in the first chapter of the series, The Gunslinger, which is said to be the primary influence of the first movie. It’s possible the actress will play mother to Jake Chambers, who’s set to be played by the young Tom Taylor. In the books, Chambers is a young boy from the "real world" who is sucked into Roland’s under mysterious circumstances.
A more intriguing possibility is that Winnick is set to play Susannah, though that seems pretty unlikely. In the books, Susannah is a wheelchair bound African-American woman with multiple personalities who, like Jake, is pulled into Roland’s world. The character is known for her intense racist tirades against Roland, portrayed in the books as a white man, before joining his cause to find the Dark Tower. Given the race-switch pulled by casting Elba, is it possible that they’re switching up Susannah’s character as well?
Of course, it’s also possible that Winnick is set to play one of the many rogue wanderers and village dwellers Roland and company meet along the path to the Dark Tower. There are plenty of those along the way, any number of which would be perfect for the actress.
Without confirmation from Sony or director Nikolaj Arcel, anything regarding Winnick’s character is, at this point, just speculation. However, information about the movie is coming in at a steady pace now that the film’s production is moving full steam ahead, we’re sure to get confirmation on her character sooner rather than later. We’ll keep you posted on that, and all developments regarding The Dark Tower as they’re made available.
The Dark Tower is currently under production and set for release on February 17, 2017.