Let’s talk about this new Stephen King film The Dark Tower!

by Nicholas Pendergast

At long last Sony Pictures is going to bring to life the film that Stephen King fans have been waiting for more than three decades.

Idris Elba will be playing the role of Roland Deschaine, King’s fictional gunslinging mystic who walks through the multidimensional lanes as a last line of defense from evil. If you’re devoted to the canon of The Dark Tower, you may be happy to learn that this film has the blessings of King to go into some unconventional turf. It will not only be an adaptation, but a canonical reset and continuation of the original story.

Roland Deschaine’s features were based off of Clint Eastwood’s character Man With No Name.

Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's iconic Man With No Name trilogy.
Eastwood in the classic Leone flick “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”

Although Idris Elba is a fine actor in his own right, there is simply no physical comparison to him and the original features of Deschaine. Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone’s iconic Man With No Name trilogy gave King the inspiration to create and design his character in The Gunslinger. Even the landscape used in Mid World is emulative of the desert in Leone’s spaghetti western classics.

The Dark Tower series actually began in 1969

The Gunslinger
The Dark Tower graphic novel was adapted by Robin Furth and includes 85 issues published by Marvel Comics.

The Dark Tower is a long running series of novels and novellas written by Stephen King. It began when Stephen King was 19-years-old, that’s 50 years ago, when King wrote the The Gunslinger. The Gunslinger was not published until long after, 1982 to be exact.

When The Gunslinger came out, it sparked an interest in the main character Roland Deschaine and his adversary The Man In Black, so five years later King released a sequel called The Drawing of the Three. The series was not completed until 2004. That’s 37 years between the time King wrote the original drafts and the time of its conclusion.

It should be noted that there are several standalone additions and other projects that tie into The Dark Tower series, so the story goes well beyond seven novels and time can only tell if it is truly finished.

The movie has basically been in production hell for over a decade.

Elba plays the main character; image courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Way back in 2007 a The Dark Tower franchise was in the works by a crew led by J.J Abrams, but nothing came out of their creative discussions and ultimately they lost rights to the film in 2010. Universal Pictures were quick to pick up the project later that year, but ultimately the studio couldn’t pay for their big plans to create a movie and television series.

Finally rights to the movie landed on desks over at Sony Pictures, and now we are where we’re at today, ten years after the first round of talks with J.J Abrams and his Lost creative crew.

Meet The Man In Black

(Matthew McConaughey will play the role of Elba’s adversary; image courtesy of Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Randall Flag also known as by his alias The Man In Black is a huge character in the mythos of Stephen King, and Sony has decided to go with one of Hollywood’s most popular actors to take on the role.

Although you may have some mixed feelings about seeing McConaughey in the role, you have to admit that McConaughey fits some of King’s tailored descriptions for the embodiment of evil; Flagg is “somebody who’s very charismatic, laughs a lot, [is] tremendously attractive to men and women both, and [is] somebody who just appeals to the worst in all of us,” as King said in an interview with Borders books years ago.

Flagg is a cross dimensional sorcerer who serves The Crimson King, a diabolical entity obsessed with bringing down the Tower that serves as a foundation to all worlds.

Check out the trailer below!


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