Matthew McConaughey might play the hero (or villain) in The Dark Tower movie

Matthew McConaughey
HBO
The upcoming big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series may be lining up some serious star power, with multiple industry news outlets reporting that Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is in talks to star in The Dark Tower movie.

What seems to be the subject of debate, however, is whether he’ll play the hero or the villain in the project.

Word of McConaughey’s involvement first arrived via The Wrap, which reported that the Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective actor was in line to play the hero of the franchise, a wandering gunslinger named Roland Deschain on a quest to reach the magical Dark Tower and slay the evil Man in Black. Not too long after that initial report surfaced, The Hollywood Reporter indicated that McConaughey is actually in early talks to play the aforementioned villain, The Man in Black, not the hero.

Set to be directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), who co-wrote the screenplay for the original, Swedish film based on The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Dark Tower movie is being developed simultaneously with a television series that will spin out of the events of the film and further explore the magical, western-influenced world of Roland Deschain. The film’s screenplay is reportedly based on the first book in King’s series, and was penned by Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

The Dark Tower series encompassed eight novels published between 1982 and 2012, and also spawned an award-winning prequel series in comic-book form and various other spinoff projects and tie-in stories. Over the course of the series, many of the characters and settings from King’s other novels played roles in Roland’s adventure, with the gunslinger interacting with the protagonists of ItSalem’s Lot, and various other stories that King penned. And The Man in Black is himself a recurring antagonist in many of King’s novels, particularly The Stand and Eyes of the Dragon.

“I’m excited that The Dark Tower is finally going to appear on the screen,” said King previously when the project was first announced. “Those who have traveled with Roland and his friends in their search for the Dark Tower are going to have their long-held hopes fully realized. This is a brilliant and creative approach to my books.”

The Dark Tower is scheduled to hit theaters January 13, 2017.

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