A few months ago, reports surfaced that Sony's long-awaited adaptation The Dark Tower was eyeing Idris Elba for the lead role of Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the villain Randall Flagg. Today, Deadline confirms that both actors have signed on, with Mad Max: Fury Road actress Abbey Lee also joining the cast as the female lead, Tirana. This news may come as a surprise to fans of Stephen King's seven-novel series, since Tirana wasn't exactly a major character.
In The Dark Tower books, Tirana only appears as a minor character in the seventh and final novel, dubbed The Dark Tower, which was published in 2004. She is one of the Regulators, a group that serves the Crimson King. The report claims that, even though she doesn't have a huge role in the books, she will be the female lead. The character is described as sexy and dangerous, with fake human skin and cold snake-like eyes.
The Dark Tower adaptation will bring Stephen King's series of seven novels to life, which follows Roland Deschain, a.k.a. The Gunslinger, who sets off on a journey to find The Dark Tower, rumored to be a portal to other worlds. This movie adaptation will be based on the author's first novel in this series, The Gunslinger, which centers on Roland's relationship with a young boy named Jake, who is from a different time and place. Randall Flagg is the primary villain in the novels, who tries to stop Roland from reaching The Dark Tower.
The Dark Tower was initially set up at Universal in 2011, when Ron Howard was set to direct a trilogy of movies. The studio was also setting up two limited-run TV series set to air on NBC in between the films, before the project became too costly and was ultimately dropped. Warner Bros. was then eyeing the project, but they eventually passed, and the project appeared to be dead, when Sony Pictures picked up the rights last April. Sony will be teaming with Media Rights Capital to co-finance the movies, with a "complimentary" TV series also being planned. It isn't clear if the TV series will feature either Roland Deschain or Randall Flagg, or if it will follow secondary characters in this universe.
Director Nikolaj Arcel is currently working on a rewrite of the script with Anders Thomas Jensen (Election Night). Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner worked on the initial draft. It isn't known when production will begin, but Sony has set a January 13, 2017 release date, which puts it up against Paramount's Friday the 13th reboot, Warner Bros.' Geostorm and Paramount's Monster Trucks. Abbey Lee made her feature acting debut in last year's blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road, portraying The Dag, one of the Five Wives. She will next be seen in Gods of Egypt, arriving in theaters February 26, and The Neon Demon.