The news was confirmed by King himself, via his official Twitter feed. (The initial tweet was posted at 9.19am local time – a sly Dark Tower reference – although he then had to delete and re-post at a somewhat less significant time, after misspelling Elba’s name).
The news comes as no major surprise; it was reported at the end of last year that McConaughey had been offered his pick of roles. Elba was then sought for the role of the gunslinger Roland Deschain. McConaughey, it appears, has opted for the darker, more mysterious part of the ‘man in black’.
Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) is attached to direct the film, which previously had J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard in the director’s chair. (Howard is now producing.) The adaptation of the book, a dark Western fantasy, has been in various stages of development for nearly ten years.
1982’s The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger is the first of a series of eight books; it’s not unreasonable to expect that Sony are hoping for a franchise. King considers the series his magnum opus.
The author spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his enthusiasm for the project. “The thing is, it’s been a looong trip from the books to the film,” King told EW.
“When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little shitty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now. I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised.”
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