When Idris Elba was cast in the upcoming Stephen King movie based on his Dark Tower book series, it caused a lot of people to react in anger. While many people argue that a person of color may not fit the character of Roland, the fact is that Elba is a good enough actor to pull off the role in the Dark Tower. Elba has also been very active on social media when it comes to promoting his excitement for the role.
The most recent thing Idris Elba released was a Dark Tower teaser image. Collider reported that Elba released a symbol with a quote from the Dark Tower series.
In the books, Roland Deschain is the descendant of King Arthur, and he is the last in a long line of Gunslingers. The quote used in the social media post was used in the Dark Tower book series as a way to show shame for being dishonorable. However, Elba is showing a lot of respect for the work of Stephen King, and proving that he is taking this casting seriously.
This isn’t the first time that Idris Elba has gone to social media to proclaim that he knows the source material. When the announcement was made that Elba was playing Roland, it was also announced that Matthew McConaughey was cast as The Man in Black, the individual that Roland was chasing at the start of The Gunslinger.
It was a fun exchange between Idris and Matthew, but it did little to ease the anger that some Stephen King fans showed for the casting of Idris Elba as Roland Deschain. If the fans who only want a white man with blue eyes cast are discounted for simply wanting a physical duplicate from the novels, there is still a reason for the discomfort.
Idris Elba is perfect for the role of Roland in many ways, but there is a fear that the casting of a black man in the role will hurt the character of Susannah/Odetta. Odetta is an African American character who was brutally attacked as a child by a racist in the politically charged 1960s. She had a brick dropped on her head by a man named Jack Mort, and it created a split personality in Susannah. As a result, Susanna/Odetta hates all white men and has a very hard time trusting Roland and Eddie Dean.
With Roland now cast as a black man, it changes the dynamic between Roland and Susannah/Odetta, which is a very powerful part of her character. If the Dark Tower movie can find a smart way to make that change without hurting the importance of race in her character, Idris Elba is a great choice. If they can’t, his casting hurts The Dark Tower.
With that said, the casting of Idris Elba in The Dark Tower is just one thing troubling Stephen King fans. There is also the fact that no one knows how this movie will approach the source material. Geek.com has reported Stephen King as saying that the movie will start where his book series begins, with Roland chasing the Man in Black; but, the actual story will begin in the middle rather than at the beginning.
“It starts sort of the middle of the story rather than the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it because it is the story.”
Stephen King seems excited about the Dark Tower movies, so it seems that his fans should be cautiously optimistic as well. Idris Elba, as much as his casting may be controversial, also seems respectful in his approach to promoting the movie. That all makes it seem a little easier for fans to appreciate as well.
[Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]