*Idris Elba is in early talks to play gunslinger Roland Deschain, with Matthew McConaughey in negotiations to play the villainous Man in Black in a feature film adaptation of Stephen King‘s “The Dark Tower,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
King’s book follows a gunslinger who has taken up the lifelong quest of locating The Dark Tower – a.k.a. the nexus of the universe — before evil invades and destroys the tower, ending all existence.
Elba had recently been sought to star alongside Tom Cruise in “The Mummy” for Universal but he reportedly passed on the project last week. According to The Wrap, Elba is waiting for McConaughey’s talks to progress before giving a firm yes to “The Dark Tower,” as the two actors are looking to work together.
McConaughey had been offered the role of Roland several weeks ago but found himself drawn to the Man in Black upon reading the script, The Wrap reports.
Sony Pictures and MRC are co-financing the film, to be directed by Nikolaj Arcel from a script by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. It will be mostly based on the first book in King’s series, “The Gunslinger.”
Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins are producing for their Imagine Entertainment company along with Goldsman and his Weed Road banner. Pinkner is expected to executive produce with MRC, which is also developing a companion TV series that’s long been part of the adaptation plans.
Sony chief Tom Rothman has positioned “The Dark Tower” as the start of a global franchise, saying in an earlier statement that “there are few projects out there that compare with the scope, vision, complex characters and fully drawn world that Stephen King has created.”