Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey cast for The Dark Tower movie

Finally the primary roles are cast and production is set to begin! Supposedly the movie will be released January 2017, but that seems aggressive.

I love Elba as Roland and McConaughey as Walter. I’m excited to see what they bring to the characterizations.

Here’s the Entertainment Weekly article with more details.


I remember talk about McConaughey playing Flagg in a new adaptation of the Stand. Is that still happening? And if so, seeing as Walter and Flagg are the same character (Are they? It was never quite clear), are they planning some sort of “Flagg franchise”?

Quite possibly. Walter O’Dim = Marten Broadcloak = Randall Flagg = Flagg the Wizard = He Who Walks Behind the Rows. I am thoroughly loving McConaughey as the character in all of his forms.

Elba is an interesting choice but it is going to change a large piece of The Drawing of Three. For a big chunk of the book Detta goes off about all the honkies who are out to get her with Roland being the worst honky.

Wonder how they will deal with that.


How did you get Flagg as He Who Walks Behind the Rows? I’ve never seen that. I always thought Children of the Corn stood alone.

Detta’s crazy enough, I can see her calling Idris Elba a honky, and meaning it.

Yeah, the race issue is a big part of that dynamic, but I’m sure it could be replaced by something else to the same effect. I just think Elba is way prettier than I pictured Roland being.

I always imagined him as an older, more grizzled version of the cowboy from the Black Angus commercials myself.

I never read The Dark Tower series, was Roland’s race or skin color ever mentioned? In the book The Stand I can’t remember if they explicitly state Randall Flagg’s appearance I’m pretty sure he was white but I remember Stephen King stating in an interview that the crazy stare of the guy that kidnapped Patty Hearst or was the leader of the Symbionese Liberation Army, Donald Defreeze, I think specifically referencing that famous surveillance footage frame. Donald Defreeze was black so maybe they should trade roles for continuity’s sake? :slight_smile:

I’m fairly sure that King always said Roland looked like Clint Eastwood.

McConaughey as Flagg seems like a natural choice to me. I’m not really sure how this project is going to turn out, since Akiva (Will Smith’s “I Robot”) Goldsman is the screenwriter, and the other casting choices that have leaked so far (such that the female lead is someone called “Tirana”) are so bizarre that I’m not sure what resemblance if any this movie is going to have to the books.

Oddly enough, although I’m a big fan of the series, I really don’t mind them making changes. The plot was always the weakest part of the Dark Tower books. To me, they’re all about characters, worldbuilding and a few bravura scenes, and as long as they keep those they can mess around with the story as much as they want. In fact, considering the mess at the end, they probably should.

I didn’t mind “the mess at the end”, honestly. If anything, they could use it to justify a different storyline in the movies by having this pick up where the books left off, with Roland still in possession of the Horn of Gilead.

Nothing I have seen of this so far has given me reason to think this will be one of the “good” King adaptations.

From the article, the plan appears to be to make one movie, (and “maybe” more later, presumably if the first pays off). The charm in the series is that it is just that - a huge, sprawling series. Are they going to try to cram a bunch of plot high notes into one movie? It appears that way, as the only detail they have given is that they will not be adapting the first book.

Second, changing Roland’s race eviscerates a large part of the conflict in the second book … well, to be fair, we have no idea if they will even get to that in this movie, or at all, since the one thing we know is that they are not adapting the books in order.

So far they have a pair of actors, and a one-movie script vaguely based, not on the Dark Tower series directly, but on a three-movie and TV-series screenplay adapted from the Dark Tower series (condensed down to one movie with “maybe more” later). Not encouraging signs. Looks exactly like something that has gone through development hell, passed through a lot of hands, and come out looking totally different than its original inspiration.

King himself has no qualms; according to the article, he likes the actors and he thinks this adaptation will be great. But then, Kind thought the musical version of Carrie would be great, and it famously bombed: it is widely considered the worst musical of all time. Evidently, King’s approval of adaptations of his own works is not infallible.

I think skipping the first two books (*The Gunslinger *and The Drawing of the Three) would be fine, but yeah, more than one movie is a must or they may as well not bother. What would be the point of doing a single movie? What could they possibly cover that would make it stand alone?

I also really liked Wizard and Glass, so I would hope they could cover the major plot points of that one in a movie, if only through flashbacks. At a minimum I’d like to see The Waste Lands, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and *The Dark Tower *covered. Maybe Wolves and Song could be combined, but I really liked Wolves and hate to see it watered down.

As a fan of epic fantasy, I agree somewhat with Alessan: the plot wasn’t the strength of this series, it was the characters and the action. It’s a little like an anime action series in that respect. For now I’m going to be cautiously optimistic that Goldsman can crank out a decent script and Elba and McConaughey can do their magic and we end up with an entertaining series of movies.

I also wanted to note that Detta is a character who maybe wouldn’t go over very well in theaters, or at least studio execs would probably be uncomfortable about her. I’d say she was destined for a rewrite, maybe even a radical rewrite.

Sorry for the double-post.

Yeah, Angry Black Woman would not be a good thing to portray nowadays.

I have an illustrated copy, and in one of the pictures Roland looks remarkably like Timothy Dalton.

I’d be interested to see how this works out.

I think it’s possible, Roland is not going to have any context for being a Black person in America at that time, so Detta’s experience is going to be distant from his regardless of how the actor looks. I think the filmmakers are going to have to pay close attention in order to prevent her character from coming across simply as a stereotypical Angry Black Woman (and to complicate things, I know that in the books, a lot of it is Detta intentionally putting on a performance, but that’s a lot of layers for a film). I can imagine they might rewrite this whole element right out of the film (and it would probably be wise).

And I agree with Alessan, it’s so much about the characters that I don’t care so much what exactly they are doing on their adventures, I imagine them being like the Knights of the Round Table, where different authorial voices can put various spins on what exactly they are doing.

I’m more interested in seeing how they deal with Roland sacrificing Jake.

I’ve got a terrible feeling they’ll try to play both sides and have Roland try to save him but fail. The typical hollywood cop-out.

They aren’t going to deal with it, since the one thing revealed so far about the movie, according to the article, is that they aren’t doing the first book.

So, no sacrifice of Jake (it’s in the 1st book), we are assuming no Detta (angry Black woman won’t play well in movie version), no confrontation between Detta and Roland over race (Roland is Black in this one, which renders such a confrontation moot, and no angry Detta anyway) … and so on.

Oh, but while they are subtracting, they are apparently adding, too: of the three characters allegedly cast, one is Abbey Lee as “Tirana”, who is a blink-and-you-miss-her minor character in the books (she allegedly shows up in the seventh book, but I’ve totally forgotten what she does).

The fact that she’s been cast before Susanna/Odetta/Detta is, IMHO, a bad sign.

How much resemblance this will have to anything in the books is conjecture at this point, but my guess, based on the available evidence, is “not much”. I am afraid it will be terrible.

I’ve no idea if the casting folks and King have this in mind, but try this on for size: make Odetta/‘Detta’/Susannah a crippled redneck racist white woman. Let’s make the 'Detta part be a crazed gun nut Tealiban too. (As part of the appeal that Roland sees in this crazy bitch is that she has a facility with violence and a cunning survival instinct that’s nearly entirely absent in Odetta.)

Keep all of the racist rants, but make them against black people, and make part of her redemption/reconciliation with her two halves, a renunciation of racism and stereotypical Appalachian values. That keeps a large chunk of The Drawing of The Three’s plot, and is probably an easier sell in Hollywood.

Or you know, they could have just cast someone like Viggo Mortensen or Benicio del Toro as Roland.