During last month's CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, Sony Pictures confirmed that production has started on the long-awaited adaptation The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King's iconic novel series. There had been reports in the past that claimed the adaptation is actually based on the author's third book, The Waste Lands, where much of The Dark Tower mythology was laid out, but that was never confirmed. Author Stephen King now says that the movie will start out in a very familiar place for fans of the book.
The plot of The Waste Lands follows Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) and his ka-tet's efforts to reach out to Jake (Tom Taylor), who is from a different place and time, on their quest to find The Dark Tower. In the book, that "different place and time" was New York City in 1977, but it may be changed to modern day. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly Radio on Sirius XM, the author confirmed the movie will start exactly where the books start, but there is a twist.
"The movie will start where the books start. 'The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed.' I've been pretty insistent about that, and I think everybody's on board with it. It starts sort of in medias res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit. But they will get behind it, because it is the story."
So, while the exact opening of Stephen King's first book will be intact, it seems that the rumors may be true about the movie being adapted from The Waste Lands. Of course, the author didn't specify exactly that The Dark Tower movie will be based on that book, but the previous rumors claimed that the adaptation will take aspects from both the first book and the third book. Stephen King also had nothing but praise for Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a.k.a. The Gunslinger, stating he has watched his career since The Wire, while director Nikolaj Arcel had this to say about working with the actor.
"I've been following his career for a long time, and when we started talking, for me, it just clicked."
Matthew McConaughey is playing the villainous Man in Black, alongside Abbey Lee as Tirana, Michael Barbieri as Timmy and Katheryn Winnick in an unspecified role. In the books, The Man in Black is described as an "ageless deceiver and sorcerer," who is also trying to find The Dark Tower to rule over all of its kingdoms. Nikolaj Arcel added that the movie version of The Man in Black will be much more complex than imagined.
"We have a lot of layers to him. He's not just this one-note villain. I think we're very true to the novels."
The Dark Tower movie is set for release on February 17, 2017, where it will go up against a pair of highly-anticipated sequels, Universal's Fifty Shades Darker and 20th Century Fox's The Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Earlier this week, we got our first look at Idris Elba on set in his full costume, but we don't know for sure when the studio will release an official first look of the actor as Roland Deschain. While we wait for more details, click on the player below to listen to the full audio interview with Stephen King and The Dark Tower director Nikolaj Arcel below.