In an interesting casting choice, it looks as if Idris Elba (‘Prometheus’,’Thor: The Dark World’) is in the front of the pack to play Roland Deschain in the big screen adaptation of ‘The Dark Tower‘. With Matthew McConaughey having previously been offered his choice of Deschain or The Man In Black it would appear that he has either made his decision or left the project. Nikolaj Arcel has some high expectations to fill in directing the movie, but that is of course if it even gets made.
Producer Ron Howard recently said, “Do we have an absolute greenlight? Nope, not quite, but fingers crossed!” I’m almost curious as to if this increase in talent being cast is to try and force Sony to give the official greenlight as it needs to be done sooner than later if they want to have the film ready by the planned January 2017 release date.
The first novel follows the reclusive Roland Deschain as he tries to track down the Man in Black who he believes destroyed the kingdom he lives in. Part western, part magic, possibly set in the future, there is a lot of elements to Stephen King’s epic tale which barely scratches the surface of the direction it ends up taking. The novel ties together tales from a multitude of his works including characters from ‘The Stand’ to ‘The Eyes of the Dragon’ to ‘Salem’s Lot’ and so much more of his body of work.
While Universal Studios wants to use their monsters to make a cinematic universe similar to Marvel’s, if someone could get all of the rights to King’s works they could all tie in centrally to a take on ‘The Dark Tower’ in a way that would previously have been impossible.
Assuming Elba is cast there will need to be a few changes made to the storyline if more movies are made for the series with Deschain always having been based on Clint Eastwood as he is often depicted on the page. While the first film would be a pretty straight adaptation, later interactions with future characters (such as almost all of the dialogue with Susannah Dean) would have to be greatly changed. Aside from that, though, there isn’t really a good reason for him to not take up the part.
Elba has the acting chops to handle the job and this could be the breakout role his career deserves. While the race change was a hot topic for ‘Fantastic Four,’ I don’t feel that it really applies nearly as much in this instance. His work in ‘Luthor’ shows that he can pull off the right personality to play The Gunslinger. His viciousness in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ proves he has what it takes for some of the harder moments in the film as well.
If you’ve read the novels what are your thoughts on Elba taking on the role? Do you think he could pull off Roland’s bravado? If Elba doesn’t end up getting the part who would be your perfect take on Roland Deschain? Share your thoughts below!
If greenlit soon, Roland Deschain will begin his journey towards ‘The Dark Tower’ in January 2017.