‘The Dark Tower’ Stephen King Movie Update: Epic New Cast Additions

Stephen King’s eight-part The Dark Tower series is, in his own words, the crowning achievement of his writing career, and it is finally being adapted to the big screen. King’s sprawling epic almost promises to be incredible, and the A-list cast, although filled with fascinating actor choices, is a great start. The most recent batch of cast recruits for The Dark Tower only continues to promise something legendary in the making.

It was already announced earlier this year that the Stephen King series’ main protagonist, Roland Deschain, will be played by Prometheus‘s Idris Elba, and the main antagonist, Randall Flagg, will be played by Matthew McConaughey.

Fans of the Dark Tower Stephen King books, which have developed a cult following since King began writing them in 1982, were generally very happy with the casting of the two main characters.

Others, reports Cinema Blend, were upset over Elba’s casting because the gunslinger Stephen King initially conceived in the Dark Tower books was white whereas Elba is black. King, however, responded to the criticisms by saying the color of the character’s skin does not matter.

The epic Dark Tower casting choices we have learned about recently do not end with Elba and McConaughey, though.

Just in the past week, Fran Kranz of Cabin in the Woods, Katheryn Winnick of the hit TV show Vikings, and Tom Taylor, a child actor who has not yet been in anything of note, have signed on to the already star-studded Dark Tower cast.

The Hollywood Reporter initially reported Kranz’s casting as Pimli, a character King wrote as Randall Flagg’s right-hand man. It is probably safe to assume the role will stay more or less similar to Stephen King’s written version, but, as i09 points out, it will not be exactly the same. In the Dark Tower Stephen King books, Pimli was described as old, balding, and overweight, and Kranz is none of those things. One thing that all publications agree upon, though, is that Kranz brings to the table a great comedic talent that, while not really present in King’s telling of the story, will very likely be injected into The Dark Tower film’s Pimli one way or another.

Variety was the first one to get the scoop on Winnick’s casting in The Dark Tower, and they are still unsure of the actress’s part. There has been some speculation among critics about which of King’s characters Winnick might play, but Screen Rant points out that the film’s casting has been so scattered, and there are so many characters in Stephen King’s eight Dark Tower books — which total 4,250 pages – that it is very hard to predict without being told outright.

Fans generally agree, though, that if Winnick can bring the ferocity to her Dark Tower character that she brings to the character of Lagertha in Vikings, she will be a great addition.

Very little is known about Tom Taylor. Since he is a child, though, and there are very few children in Stephen King’s books, it can be assumed that he will take on the role of Jake Chambers, a boy who is sucked into the alternate dimension in which The Dark Tower‘s plotline takes place and eventually becomes Deschain’s protege.

Kranz, Winnick, and Taylor are joining The Dark Tower‘s already large cast that includes Abbey Lee and Jackie Earle Haley. AV Club notes that the remainder of the cast have been confirmed as “inconsequential villains,” though.

Since King’s source material is so long, it would seem that it might be a challenge condensing it into even two or three movies. Stephen himself, though, seems to be pretty confident about the endeavor.

“Other people have tried fantasy spectacle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it works really well when it’s based on a series of books, like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, and sometimes it doesn’t. What I have to go back to is this: We have Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, two great actors. You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer. The team is in place, so we’ll hope for the best.”

Do you agree with King? Can Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower saga become cinema’s next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Whether you’re a King fan or not, make yourself heard in the comments section below!

King’s Dark Tower film is being produced by Sony and is expected to be released on February 17, 2017.

[Photo courtesy of Hodder and Stoughton]