So here's a development that sent me skyrocketing off my couch, awkwardly clapping my hands together and shouting: Idris Elba is Sony's leading choice to play Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower. Deadline just broke the story:
Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital may just have found the linchpin for The Dark Tower, the Stephen King novel series set in a world woven with magic and revolving around the gunslinger Roland Deschain. I’m told that Idris Elba has emerged as the frontrunner to play Deschain, and he would square off against Matthew McConaughey, who’s in talks to play the villainous Man In Black. Nikolaj Arcel is directing.
Here is my immediate response to the above: that is a great goddamn idea.
My second response: this is a shocking development. I imagined Sony's Dark Tower adaptation going a number of different ways, but this certainly wasn't among them. My guess is, Sony noticed the groundswell of support that Elba received back when the internet got into a group "Who's going to play Bond next?" discussion. Between that, Elba's obvious talent, and the accolades the actor's received for his (flawless) work in Cary Fukunaga's Beasts Of No Nation, it's not hard to see how Sony would've arrived at the choice. I'm mostly stunned the idea didn't occur to any of us sooner.
Elba could absolutely nail this role. Despite what I expect some fanboys will tell you, Roland's race plays no role in the Dark Tower cycle; there's literally no rational reason not to cast a black guy here, especially if one as talented as Elba's interested in taking the gig. All Roland needs to be is gruff, charismatic, commanding, and tough as nails. Elba can do all of those things in his sleep. And put that up against McConaughey - in a role that could very well require McConaughey to play completely unhinged - and you've got the potential for something really special.
This news is sure to be met with the standard-issue racist response, not to mention those who will wonder if Elba's got the star power to anchor a franchise we can safely assume will be a very expensive investment for the studio. Pay these complaints and questions no mind: this is excellent casting, and if it comes to pass, it will be worth celebrating for a number of reasons.
All of that said, I'd like to remind everyone of the following infographic, which I am morally obligated to attach to any and all news updates pertaining to The Dark Tower.
With that out of the way: what do you guys think? Would you be down to see Elba play Roland? Think they'll actually get McConaughey to sign up for this? Will Elba signing a contract convince you this movie might actually happen? Sound off in the comments below.