Stephen King confirms Idris Elba and McConaughey for The Dark Tower movie

Matthew McConaughey
The process of bringing Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga to the big screen continues to move along, with King and director/co-writer Nikolaj Arcel offering confirmation of the film’s leads this week, as well as some details on how the story will be adapted for the screen.

While Idris Elba was confirmed last month to play Roland Deschain, the gunslinging protagonist of King’s story, the pair also confirmed longstanding rumors that Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey will also play a lead role in the film. According to Arcel — and a series of Twitter updates from King and the actors themselves — the Dallas Buyers Club and Interstellar actor will play the enigmatic Man in Black, the sinister villain that Elba’s character pursues across the wasteland and various worlds.

“Matthew is an incredible actor who can do anything,” Arcel told EW in an interview published this week.

Along with providing additional, official confirmation of Elba as Roland, Arcel offered up some thoughts on why the Beasts of No Nation and Luther actor was the perfect fit for the role of the gunslinger.

“For me, it just clicked. He’s such a formidable man,” said the filmmaker. “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.”

The pair of actors — along with King himself — also engaged in a bit of promotional back-and-forth on Twitter. After some prompting from King, Elba declared that McConaughey will have a “new follower,” with McConaughey responding, “Come and get me, I look forward to it.”

As for the film itself, Arcel and King provided some hints about how the long saga will make the transition from page to screen, indicating that the movie could begin at a point midway through the novels.

“[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,” teased King.

“A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world,” added Arcel.

Fans of the series will recall that portions of the saga involved Roland’s attempts to summon assistance from another world — specifically, New York City in the late ’70s — as part of his quest to stop the Man in Black. This segment of Roland’s journey unfolds primarily in the third installment of the series, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands.

King also indicated that the movie will begin with the first line from the very first novel in the series, which set the events in motion that would carry readers through the eight novels that King considers his magnum opus: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

The Dark Tower is expected to begin filming in South Africa in a few months. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters January 13, 2017.

Movies & TV

‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ trailer unleashes a bevy of beasts

Legendary Pictures has released the first full-length trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to 2014's Godzilla, which pits the giant lizard against a host of new monstrous threats.
Movies & TV

Ice meets fire in HBO's latest 'Game of Thrones' season 8 teaser

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Movies & TV

Watch Jake Gyllenhaal realize he's not playing Spider-Man in 'Far From Home'

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ wins one of the worst box-office weekends of 2018

Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet stayed on top of the weekend box office for the third week, winning what was one of the worst weekends for ticket sales in the US so far this year.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Home Theater

Stranger Things season 3 predictions: Decoding the episode titles

Netflix has revealed the episode titles for season 3 of Stranger Things, and the eight titles could shed light on what we can expect to see when the hit show returns in summer 2019.
Movies & TV

Disney reveals epic first picture from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction

The Millennium Falcon is fueled up and ready to embark on its Smuggler's Run at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new theme park attraction set to open in 2019 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Movies & TV

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services and see how they compare to one another.