The first look at Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughy as Roland Deschain and Randall Flag/Walter/The Man In Black in The Dark Tower has arrived, and we are so very excited.
EW released the first official pictures of the two stars in character in Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s fantasy epic series, and they also gave us some details about where exactly the film fits in the chronology.
“The hardcore fans of The Dark Tower series will know that this is actually a sequel to the books in a way,” Arcel said. “It has a lot of the same elements, a lot of the same characters, but it is a different journey.It’s completely circular, cogs and wheels. Everything fits together. It has a great little power to it. It fits very well into the nature of the entire saga itself.”
He also revealed that Susannah and Eddie will not be appearing in this movie, although they may well show up if The Dark Tower does well enough to get a sequel. “They’re certainly out there. I think the entire story deserves to be told and should be told. I would certainly be disappointed in myself or my collaborators if we didn’t bring them in. They’re such a huge part of the story.”
It’s also interesting to note that King seems to be a lot more involved with this than he sometimes is with films of his work. “I feel more wrapped up in this one because the books took so long to write and the fan base is so dedicated,” he told EW. “They sent me a number of different drafts and it came into focus, let’s put it that way. I’m 100 percent behind it — which doesn’t mean it necessarily will work, just that it’s a good way to try and to get into these stories.”
There’s also some excellent quotes in EW’s report about Elba and McConaughey’s performances and takes on these two iconic characters.
“When we meet Roland he’s a bit lost,” Elba told them. “He’s been walking around for a long time, so he definitely feels like a man who’s… coiled…He’s a protector.”
As for the gunslinging, there’ll be plenty of that. “You know, if he can clear a room with five bullets as supposed to six, he will,” said Elba. “I took a pen and cut Roland’s dialogue to the bone,” added King. “The less he says the better off, and why not? Idris Elba can act with his face. He’s terrific at it. He projects that sense of combined menace and security. [Roland] is the Western hero, the strong, silent type: ‘Yep,’ ‘Nope,’ and ‘Draw.'”
As for McConaughey’s Walter, the Man In Black, it sounds like he’ll be less of The Devil, and more devillish.
“Well, he is a man, actually,” McConaughey said. “They wanted to go very human and grounded with this. Obviously there are mythical proportions of good and evil in Walter. But we didn’t want to go overly fantastic. That would drop the humanity. So Walter, for me, is a man who exposes hypocrisies. You know, he’s not literally the Devil, but I sure as hell think about him like the Devil. I think like the Devil would.”
He also gave some nice details about the relationship between these two titans. While Roland is continually frustrated by his inability to catch his prey, Walter has some kind of affection for his pursuer.
“I revere him,” he said. “He’s really the only true adversary I have. I expose hypocrisies, and he’s the closest to pure there is. It’s his persistent, resilience to be good and altruistic. He’s very precious to me. I almost don’t want to see him go. So many times I’m just pumping him up, through sorcery, almost like the man in the corner of the ring for a boxer. ‘Come on … you can do this … stay in the game,’ because I want to keep him, I want to keep his vengeance to find me. I want to keep that very vital, you know? My want, my need, my mission is to bring down the Tower. My love, my adoration, my muse, my shadow, is Roland.”
The Dark Tower is set for release on 17 February 2017. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.