The Dark Tower Cast Confirmed, Elba and McConaughey to Star

"I'm delighted, and I'm a little bit surprised."

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The long-awaited film adaptation of Stephen King's fantasy epic The Dark Tower is finally happening. The writer himself has confirmed that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey would star, with production to begin this spring.

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While Elba and McConaughey had been rumoured for several months, this is the first official confirmation of their involvement. King tweeted the news, quoting the opening line from his novel:

Luthor star Elba will take on the lead role as gunslinger Roland Deschain, while McConaughey will play Walter Padick, aka the Man in Black, the demonic sorcerer who is the story's central villain.

In a new interview with EW, the film's director and co-writer, Nikolaj Arcel, spoke about what drew him to the project. "What King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical," he said. "In my view, [The Dark Tower] novels are a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and modern times. That exact mix is so Stephen King."

The film has had a long development process, and had passed between several studios before ending up at Sony. King himself commented on the length of time it had taken for the project to reach this stage. "It's been a looong trip from the books to the film," he said. "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.

"I'm delighted, and I'm a little bit surprised."

The Dark Tower encompasses eight novels, written between 1982 and 2012. The books blend classic western themes with horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, and many of King's other novels connect to the ongoing story. There are plans for this movie to be the first of an ongoing franchise.

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