Stephen King confirms Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba to star in The Dark Tower adaptation

The author tweeted: “It’s official: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed,” referring to the two main protagonists and the line which starts the epic series, which has covered eight novels as well as comics and other iterations.

It’s official: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. @McConaughey @IdrisElba

Both stars were linked to the project late last year, with McConaughey being mentioned as a strong contender for the role of Walter Padick aka the Man in Black, while in December, Idris Elba was tipped to play Roland Deschain aka the Gunslinger.

The plot will follow the lines of The Gunslinger, the 1982 novel which started the series. Nikolaj Arcel, best known for 2012’s acclaimed drama A Royal Affair, will direct the film and told Entertainment Weekly that a lot of the film takes place in the modern world, and revealed that he thought Elba was a perfect fit for the hero of the novels, the Gunslinger.

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

King also alluded to the long journey it’s taken to get the books on the big screen, which had involved a failed bid by Ron Howard to adapt the series with Javier Bardem in the role of the Gunslinger.

He told the magazine: “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.”

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