After spending what felt like forever in limbo, Stephen King’s Dark Tower is finally starting its film production — with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey as the leads.
Confirmation of the casting came from King’s twitter:
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 1, 2016
That line — which is also the first line of the first Dark Tower book — is also opening the movie, King told Entertainment Weekly:
It should start that way. I’ve been pretty insistent about that. …[The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they will get behind it, because it is the story.
However, Entertainment Weekly also confirmed that the movie wasn’t adapting the plot of the first book, The Gunslinger. The only clue about which books inspired the movie was that “a lot” of the movie takes place in our day, in the modern world. As Anthony Breznican points out in the Entertainment Weekly article, that nixes the fourth book — which flashes back to Roland’s youth — from the running.
The big news about this casting is how it affects the relationship between Roland and Susannah, a black amputee that Roland pulls into his the other dimension. Screenwriter Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) promises that the core of the characters is preserved. “Some fans are asking, understandably, ‘What about the racial tension?'” Arcel told Entertainment Weekly. “But as the story progresses that will be made clear, how we’ll deal with all those things.”
Elba, cast as the gunslinger Roland Deschain, and McConaughey, cast as Walter Padick, took absolutely no time to put their characters at odds on Twitter:
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 1, 2016
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) March 1, 2016
Can’t say they’re not having fun.