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Stephen King talks about The Dark Tower movie

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It was recently confirmed that Idris Elba would be playing the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaugheywould be the Man in Black for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

It is a huge series – eight novels, assorted comic books and short stories – so it is going to be a tough one to adapt. However, King and director Nikolaj Arcel, recently spoke about the adaptation. King says the movie will open with the first line from the first book. “It should start that way,” he says. “I’ve been pretty insistent about that.” However, the first film will not adapt the plot of the first book, The Gunslinger, published in 1982.

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King went on to explain:

[The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it, because it is the story.

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 sh-tty 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.

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Arcel also spoke about the film and it looks like it will be mainly set in our world, which may provide clues as to what book they are focussing on for the film.

A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world.

What Stephen King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical. In my view, [The Dark Tower] novels are a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and modern times. That exact mix is so Stephen King.

He also talked about the casting of Idris Elba as Roland, the Gunslinger.

For me, it just clicked. He’s such a formidable man.I had to go to Idris and tell him my vision for the entire journey with Roland and the ka-tet. We discussed, who is this character? What’s he about? What’s his quest? What’s his psychology? We tried to figure out if we saw the same guy. And we absolutely had all the same ideas and thoughts. He had a unique vision for who Roland would be.

King also spoke about Elba and talked about who he originally saw as Roland when he began writing the books.

I love it. I think Elba is a terrific actor, one of the best working in the business now.

I visualized [Clint] Eastwood as Roland. I loved the Spaghetti Westerns and all those widescreen close-ups of his face, especially the ones where he’d been left out in the desert and was all covered with blisters and sunburn. I thought, ‘That’s my Roland.’

As the years went by, [the character] became a more particular individual in my own mind. He wasn’t Eastwood anymore. He was just … Roland.

For me the character is still the character. It’s almost a Sergio Leone character, like ‘the man with no name.’ He can be white or black, it makes no difference to me. I think it opens all kind of exciting possibilities for the backstory.

Other people have tried fantasy spectacle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it works really well when it’s based on a series of books, like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, and sometimes it doesn’t.

What I have to go back to is this: We have Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, two great actors. You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer. The team is in place, so we’ll hope for the best.

Arcel will share screenwriting credit with Anders Thomas Jensen, Akiva Goldsman, and Jeff Pinkner. The producers will be Goldman and his Weed Road company; Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Erica Huggins of Imagine Entertainment; and Pinkner as executive producer.

How do you feel about the adaptation. What book from the series would fit into what King and Arcel are talking about?

Source: EW

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