Stephen King Confirms Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey for ‘The Dark Tower’

Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba

The film adaptation of Stephen King’s fantasy series “The Dark Tower” has been in production hell for several years now, but it seems the film is finally getting off the ground. Stephen King himself tweeted the news, as well as confirming its long-speculated stars: Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

In his tweet, King references the first line of the first book in the series, saying, “It’s official: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. #DarkTowerMovie.” He then tagged both McConaughey and Elba in the tweet.

Elba coyly responded by tagging McConaughey and teasing, “You have one new follower,” to which McConaughey tweeted, “Come and get me, I look forward to it.”

The film, which Sony picked up after Universal pulled the plug in 2011, will be directed by Nikolaj Arcel and will be produced by Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Arcel and King confirm that the film will start in the middle of the story as opposed to the beginning, and that a lot of the story takes place in modern times.

Elba will be portraying the protagonist, Roland Deschain. On the casting of Elba in a role that was originally written as a white character, Arcel says, “It was a no brainer. For me, it just clicked. He’s such a formidable man. I had to go to Idris and tell him my vision for the entire journey with Roland and the ka-tet. We discussed, who is this character? What’s he about? What’s his quest? What’s his psychology? We tried to figure out if we saw the same guy. And we absolutely had all the same ideas and thoughts. He had a unique vision for who Roland would be.”

And on the casting of McConaughey as the Man in Black (who also goes by Walter Padick and other names in the books), the series’ main villain, Arcel says, “Matthew is an incredible actor who can do anything. That’s how I feel about Walter Padick. He could do anything.”

The film begins production in seven weeks and is eyeing a Jan. 13, 2017 release.