Last week, Idris Elba emerged as the surprising frontrunner to play Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger and main character of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower novels. In the books, Roland is a white male who greatly resembles Clint Eastwood on the various Dark Tower book covers.
Some of King’s fans have reacted badly to this potential casting choice. Sadly, it’s nothing new for Elba, who has faced a similar backlash from his role as Heimdall in Thor and the persistent rumors linking him to James Bond. But this time, King has publicly offered an indirect endorsement of Elba’s casting.
To me, the color of the gunslinger doesn’t matter. What I care about is how fast he can draw…and that he takes care of the ka-tet.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 12, 2015
Keep in mind, Elba hasn’t signed any deal yet, so King probably had to choose his words carefully. However, his meaning is clear: he has absolutely no problem with reimaging Roland Deschain as a black man if the right performer takes the role.
More than anything else, Elba is an actor who has proven that he can carry a film. His most recent film, Beasts of No Nation has the kind of buzz that may even give Elba an Oscar nomination. The Dark Tower franchise could only benefit from having a performer of Elba’s caliber.
Plus, who doesn’t want to see Elba chew up the scenery with Matthew McConaughey? Although nothing has been finalized, McConaughey has reportedly been offered the role of The Dark Tower’s lead antagonist, Walter o’Dim a.k.a. the Man in Black. Fans of King’s The Stand may know the Man in Black by another name: Randall Flagg.
Nikolaj Arcel is slated to direct The Dark Tower, which has a tentative release date of January 27, 2017.
How do you feel about Elba potentially playing Roland Deschain? Share your thoughts below!
Image Credit: BBC