After nearly a decade of scrapped film and TV plans, Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series is officially hitting the big screen.
In a tweet Tuesday, King confirmed that Idris Elba would be playing the gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey will portray his foe, the man in black.
King began the fantasy/sci-fi series as a senior in college and published the first novel, “The Gunsligner,” in 1982.
Thirty-four years later, the series consists of eight novels and spans a number of comic books and short stories.
The series follows gunslinger Roland Deschain on his mission to save a dying world (and other realms) from the threat of the man in black, a sorcerer who often goes by other names including Walter Padick or Walter O’Dim.
Nikolaj Arcel will serve as the director for the film adaptation (for now it’s just one film), which is slated for January 13, 2017.
His mystical nemesis, often referred to as 'the man in black,' will be portrayed by Matthew McConaughey.
King confirmed that the first line from the first novel will be the film's opening line: 'The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.'
But the movie adaptation will not follow the plot of the first novel. King told Entertainment Weekly, '(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.'
It is unknown which novels the film will focus on, but director Nikolaj Arcel ('A Royal Affair') said that much of it takes place 'in the modern world.'
Arcel will also serve as a cowriter, along with Jeff Pinkner ('The 5th Wave'), Anders Thomas Jensen, and Akiva Goldsman ('I Am Legend').
Ron Howard, one of the directors who was previously attached to the project, will serve as a producer with Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins from Imagine Entertainment. Writers Goldsman and Pinker will also act as producers.
Back when Howard was attached to direct, the film was planned as a trilogy, with Javier Bardem cast as Roland. There were also plans for an accompanying TV series. Goldsman penned the script then, and it is serving as the foundation for the new script. Though the project is currently set as one film, there is a possibility for more.
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