Idris Elba & Matthew McConaughey Officially Join The Dark Tower

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I want to point out that this isn't the first time a white Stephen King character has been played by a black actor. That would be the character of "Red" in "The Shawshank Redemption", who actually was Irish in the original novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", rather than it being a joking response to where his nickname came from, but was played by Morgan Freeman in the movie.

Why am I pointing this out? Because I don't think anyone would argue that Morgan Freeman didn't absolutely nail the role. I see no reason why Idris Elba can't do the same. As for Matthew McConaughey, I haven't seen much of his acting, and he seems to be a bit of an average Joe, with not much remarkable about him in terms of appearance. In other words, just about perfect for Randall Flagg.

The whole "starting in media res"? That worries me quite a bit, and Stephen King's assurances that it will all be fine aren't really reassuring to me. This is the same guy who has said that he pretty much gives a free reign to directors and scriptwriters, saying that if an author didn't want his or her work changed, he or she should not agree to have their work adapted. Not that I disagree with him on principle, but that isn't the type of "hands-off" attitude that demonstrates any real concern for his work being adapted. Unless you try to use his name for a piece of crap like "Children of the Corn". Then he'll care.

SirSullymore:
Neat, wonder if Elba can/will do a Southern accent.

I'm very curious how they will handle Suzannah now, though.

Did the Gunslinger have a southern accent? It's been yeeeeaars since I read those books, but I don't recall him having a southern accent. I don't recall him being described as having an accent at all, or at least not one from Earth.

OT: I'm not sure how I feel about this, I just don't know how well a Dark Tower movie will be. The first few books were ok, bordering on pretty damn good. The last 3 or so were exercises in how the hubristic self-indulgence of an author can kill a series and turn it into a steaming pile of shit.

I dig this. I'm not much fussed with race, i just with the melanin levels of someones skin would stop being relevant at all. But I love both Elba and Mcconoghy (fucked if i can spell that name) but they are both fantastic actors. So.. yeah i'm cool. I'm reaaally waiting on the casting of Eddie and Jake and Susannah now.

Happyninja42:

SirSullymore:
Neat, wonder if Elba can/will do a Southern accent.

I'm very curious how they will handle Suzannah now, though.

Did the Gunslinger have a southern accent? It's been yeeeeaars since I read those books, but I don't recall him having a southern accent. I don't recall him being described as having an accent at all, or at least not one from Earth.

Yeah, there's no indication of him having an American southern accent outside of his stereotypical cowboy look. I've just always read him that way do to his look and the western vibes of a lot of the story.

thebobmaster:
I want to point out that this isn't the first time a white Stephen King character has been played by a black actor. That would be the character of "Red" in "The Shawshank Redemption", who actually was Irish in the original novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", rather than it being a joking response to where his nickname came from, but was played by Morgan Freeman in the movie.

Not to mention Mr Freeman also played Colonel Kurtz in Dreamcatcher, who was borderline albinoid in the book. While he's a damn fine actor I found the choice a bit jarring to begin with, much like I am with Idris Elba as Roland. He's well and truly got the acting chops to play him, but all of the novels and graphic material pretty much spell out that Roland has black hair, pale blue eyes and is white.

Also, as people have pointed out, this potentially affects other characters like Detta/Odetta Walker. Given that all of his ka-tet are drawn from different time periods they could make her the white daughter of a plantation owner in pre-Civil War America and keep the race issue. However in the book she is later involved in an interracial relationship with the white Eddie Dean. Do they then change him black, or just leave him as he is?

Still, I'm going to keep an open mind on this and see how it pans out. Perhaps Mr Elba's acting skills will be enough to make me forget how I've imagined Roland while reading the novels and graphic novels and just enjoy the ride.

Happyninja42:
The last 3 or so were exercises in how the hubristic self-indulgence of an author can kill a series and turn it into a steaming pile of shit.

I'm inclined to agree with you there buddy. Although I though the first three were brilliant.

Would it be controversial to suggest they just flip it all up and cast Charlize Theron/ Michael B Jordan as Susanah and Eddy?

I love The Dark Tower as a teenager, though it has been quite a while since I've read the series. The "starting in the middle" thing sounds suspect, and I really don't think Stephen King has the chops to partially control a movie production. I have always figured that they HAD to do an extensive rewrite. Tower was always going to be hard due to its very eclectic and genre-changing nature. Part of me doubts it will be like any of the movies or stories I had planned in my head, but that might not be a horrible thing. Or it might be an embarrassment and damage the series.

As for Idris Elba, I love him. I'm not sure what direction the rewrites have planned, but any rewrite that gives that man the chance to play The Gunslinger is fine by me. As for the Lincoln Spokesperson, I could see his voice being the MiB's. I guess we'll just see there.

Happyninja42:

SirSullymore:
Neat, wonder if Elba can/will do a Southern accent.

Did the Gunslinger have a southern accent? It's been yeeeeaars since I read those books, but I don't recall him having a southern accent. I don't recall him being described as having an accent at all, or at least not one from Earth.

His accent is never described, but he can't pronounce common English words like "hoagie" or "aspirin," and I'm pretty sure I remember him stumbling over the word "sandwich" (I think it comes out "sanditch"). The people of the Callas have their accent inspired by Maine, because of course they do, so I figure Mr. Elba will be permitted to make something up, since he'll be speaking at least one made-up language we don't have the words for anyway.

hentropy:
As for the Lincoln Spokesperson, I could see his voice being the MiB's. I guess we'll just see there.

I always kind of pictured Walter as the Joker on a mostly mellow high from marijuana. He'll still do horrible things to you and giggle while he does them, but more passively than if he was sober.

I can see Matthew McConaughey playing a stoned Joker.

The Hungry Samurai:
Would it be controversial to suggest they just flip it all up and cast Charlize Theron/ Michael B Jordan as Susannah and Eddy?

I'll watch anything with Charlize Theron in it, but oh god, to imagine how a white woman from South Africa must feel on set spewing racial epithets at black actors.

I don't care who plays who, but ...what's a "ka-tet"? I never read these books obviously.

Wintermute:
I don't care who plays who, but ...what's a "ka-tet?" I never read these books obviously.

It means "one from many." In the book, it refers almost exclusively to a group of gunslingers bound together in a nuclear family, united by common purpose.

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