The film adaptation to Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series is just around the corner, and now those who are eagerly awaiting the film’s cinematic release will have something to tide them over. As reported in Daily Mail, Dark Tower set photos of Idris Alba have surfaced online, giving us a first glimpse of the actor as Roland Deschain (aka, The Gunslinger).
Taken in Cape Town, South Africa, the photos give us a first look at Idris Alba in full Gunslinger garb. It’s fairly noticeable in the photos, however, that he was holding a smartphone with his left hand, which could mean that they were taken in-between takes.
First look of Idris Elba on the set of Stephen King's THE DARK TOWER pic.twitter.com/ddmogH3Zgy
— Lights Camera Action (@lights_cam_act) May 16, 2016
The unofficial photos went their rounds on Twitter earlier today, generating excitement among fans of the books. For one, Idris Elba as the Gunslinger is pretty spot on, especially with the grizzled-yet-dignified air that the actor exudes, be it on the small screen or the big screen. While it can be argued that Roland Deschain was written as a white man in the books, Elba’s talent as an actor could provide some additional layers that could enrich the character further. More importantly, Elba’s casting is a step in the right direction in terms of diverse representation in the media.
— Julia Fellner (@FellnerBooks) April 2, 2016
As expected, there are people (some of them big fans of the books) who complained about Idris Elba’s casting, crying foul over the fact that Roland Deschain was written as a white man.
Perhaps the best authority on the subject of Deschain’s race is Stephen King himself. While the author didn’t particularly mention Idris Elba’s name, he did point out via Twitter that skin color is irrelevant when it comes to playing the Gunslinger.
“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.”
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 is set to be the first film in a long series, which is just as well since the original material spanned eight long books. Director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) is directing the film and rewriting the scripts penned by Anders Thomas Jensen (Election Night), Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner.
Matthew McConaughey (another big name that drew a lot of attention to the film) has been cast to play the role of the Man in Black (otherwise known as Walter), the arch-nemesis of Idris Elba’s Roland Deschain. Tom Taylor is set to play Jake Chambers, one of the film’s main protagonists and a member of Roland’s Ka-tet – group of people called together for a purpose – in the series. Other actors who landed roles that are yet to be revealed include Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Jackie Earle Haley, Katheryn Winnick, Fran Kranz, and Abbey Lee.
— Indiewire (@indiewire) May 11, 2016
Sony is still keeping the plot of the film under wraps, but based on the material the adaptation is based on, The Dark Tower tells the story of Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last in the line of heroic Gunslingers, as he embarks on a quest for the Dark Tower. To achieve his goal, he has to follow a mysterious Man in Black, hence the famous first line in the book, “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” Along the way, Roland is joined by Jake Chambers, who helps him in quest for the Dark Tower.
The film adaptation for The Dark Tower is set for cinematic release on February 17, 2017.
[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]