First official look at Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in The Dark Tower

Idris Elba in The Dark Tower

by James White |
Published on

Interest in the long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King's sprawling Dark Tower stories has been feverish and naturally, with the film finally in production there have been set pics of Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey and the rest of the cast popping up. Now, though, via Entertainment Weekly, comes the first official look at the Gunslinger and the Man In Black, and you can find Elba above and Mcconaughey sneaking around lower down the page.

King's Tower tales are littered among books, graphic novels and short stories and have been a long-standing passion project for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, just two of the people who have tried to get them on screen through various film and TV attempts, only to have them stall in the past. Now the first film, simply called The Dark Tower, is shooting, crafting a subtly different origin story for the conflict between Roland Deschain AKA The Gunslinger (Elba) and warlock Walter, The Man In Black (McConaughey), who brought chaos and destruction to a realm known as Mid-World. Walter's current target is the Dark Tower, which maintains order in the various realms and multiverses, and Deschain's target is... Walter.

The first movie, with Nikolaj Arcel directing, finds Walter on the hunt for Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) who posses "The Shine" (you might recognise the power from another slightly well-known King story), which could help destroy the Tower's support and allow Walter to bring his particular brand of apocalypse to other realms.

“When we meet Roland he’s a bit lost,” Elba tells the magazine. “He’s been walking around for a long time, so he definitely feels like a man who’s… coiled.” He's also known for being portrayed as a white guy with blue eyes, but when you have the chance to hire Idris Elba to bring someone to life, you do it. “I was thrilled. I was thrilled to get this job,” Elba says. “I was thrilled because, you know, it’s an alternative to what you could say, what Roland is described as.”

Matthew McConaughey in The Dark Tower

As for McConaughey, he seems to be relishing the chance to play someone with a darker motivation than some of his recent characters, even if Walter in the film won't be quite as fantastical as he is in the books. ""He is a man, actually,” McConaughey says. “They wanted to go very human and grounded with this. Obviously there are mythical proportions of good and evil in Walter. But we didn’t want to go overly fantastic. That would drop the humanity. So Walter, for me, is a man who exposes hypocrisies.” For more from both of them, head to EW's site.

The Dark Tower will be out in the UK on February 17 next year.

Entertainment Weekly The Dark Tower cover
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