This morning, the revered author Stephen King announced via his Twitter account that pre-production had begun on his novel series The Dark Tower with Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba in leading roles.
The Dark Tower has spent its fair share of time in and out of development limbo, with news first coming in 2007 that J.J. Abrams would direct. Abrams pulled away from the project and in 2010 it was announced that The Dark Tower would hit the big and small screens simultaneously with 3 feature films and 2 seasons of a TV series, catching on to Marvel’s business model.
This didn’t work out either, as Universal pulled their backing of the project when terms could not be reached with Ron Howard to direct the first film. There The Dark Tower stayed, with an ever-changing variety of people attached to the project in one capacity or another and studios playing a game of chicken.
Then, in 2015, it was announced that Sony had picked up the film and that Akiva Goldsman was reworking the script. A couple of months later Nikolaj Arcel was attached as director and a release date of 2017 had been set.
That bring us to today, and Stephen King’s announcement. According to reports, McCounaghey was offered his pick of the roles at the end of 2015. The role he chose was the dark and mysterious ‘Man in Black’. Elba was then sought out to play the role of gunslinger Roland Deschain, the protagonist of the piece.
The Dark Tower is a melting pot of genres, incorporating elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Western and Horror in a tale about Deschain and his quest to find The Dark Tower, the linchpin of existence, whilst being pursued by the Man in Black.
Stephen King maintains that The Dark Tower is his magnum opus, and seeing that it is a series, it wouldn’t be too much a stretch of the imagination to think that Sony harbour hopes of a franchise.
Speaking EW, King expressed his excitement that his self-proclaimed masterpiece was finally reaching the silver screen:
“The thing is, it’s been a looong trip from the books to the film. When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little shitty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now. I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised.”