A movie project based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series of books has long been making the rounds in Hollywood, with endless rumors on casting. But author Stephen King confirmed to Rolling Stone today that there will almost certainly be a Dark Tower movie, with Idris Elba set for the lead as the iconic, gunslinging cowboy, and for the villainous Man in Black, Matthew McConaughey is allegedly close to committing to the project.
“It looks to me like it’s more likely than not it’ll happen at this point. Let’s put it that way… I think that it’s more likely than not that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will be in it. But I can’t say with any certainty. I know that they’re trying to make deals with these actors [and] with Sony, and that’s the extent of my knowledge.”
Elba is one of the hottest actors in Hollywood at the moment, with rumors he’s the frontrunner for several other roles not written for an African-American, such as James Bond or Doctor Who. While many Stephen King fans are on board with Elba being cast as Roland Deschain, some… not so much. A minority have been vocal about wanting their vision of a Caucasian gunslinger as in traditional westerns, but King has long made it clear he doesn’t see race as important in the casting.
To me, the color of the gunslinger doesn’t matter. What I care about is how fast he can draw…and that he takes care of the ka-tet.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 12, 2015
The Dark Tower book series already has eight volumes, making it potentially a television series such as Game of Thrones, based on a similar extended collection of books by George R. R. Martin. Unlike Martin, however, who has talked about a finite number of Game of Thrones books, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series may have a lot more coming to the story.
“I’m never done with The Dark Tower. The thing about The Dark Tower is that those books were never edited, so I look at them as first drafts. And by the time I got to the fifth or sixth book, I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is really all one novel.’ It drives me crazy. The thing is to try to find the time to rewrite them. There’s a missing element – a big battle at a place called Jericho Hill. And that whole thing should be written; I’ve thought about it several times, and I don’t know how to get into it.”
While King’s thinking about doing another Dark Tower book, the format of the film version is still unclear as to whether it will be a film series, a television series, or even rumors of films with a television series between cinematic releases. With someone as prolific as Stephen King, it’s hard to tell. The next film project based on his work is yet another miniseries based on his novel, 11.22.63, set to appear on Hulu. His classic, The Stand, may also see another revival in film, albeit in a shorter format than his most recent epics, according to King’s Rolling Stone interview.
“I think that if it gets made, it’ll get made as a movie. But it’ll take a leaf from [The Hunger Games:] Mockingjay and the Harry Potter things and probably be in two parts, something like that. That might happen and it might not.”
In the meantime, King releases his next book, End of Watch, in June of this year. It’s the end of a trilogy with Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. But for now, Stephen King says he is “between books.” Stephen King fans should have plenty to keep them busy during this hiatus.
[AP Photo/Elise Amendola]