Plot Details Emerge For ‘The Dark Tower’ Movie Starring Idris Elba And Matthew McConaughey

The long-gestating adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is back in the news again with an official confirmation that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will play the Gunslinger and the Man in Black, respectively. The two actors also had some fun with the news on Twitter, referencing the first line from the first book, “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” King told Entertainment Weekly the movie should start with that line.

Entertainment Weekly spoke to King and to the film’s director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel about their plans for The Dark Tower. They say it will start shooting in South Africa seven weeks from now with a planned release date of Jan. 13, 2017, but more importantly, they hinted at what part of the story arc we’ll be seeing on the big screen. This is, after all, a tale spanning eight novels, as well as comic books, short stories, and references peppered in other novels in King’s oeuvre.

Even though the film may start with that memorable first line, the film itself isn’t going to start at the beginning.

“[The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it, because it is the story,” King says.

Arcel declined to specify which books his movie focus on, but he did offer this clue: “A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world.”

We’re thinking Entertainment Weekly may be correct in their speculation that the film could be adapting The Waste Lands (1993), the third book in the series in which Roland and his ka-tet (the squad, basically) try to find Jake, who’s in New York City in 1977. They could always set that in present day New York City, and, for what it’s worth, Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Abbey Lee is reportedly in talks to play a character we’ve never even heard of, so they don’t seem averse to switching around details when it serves the movie.

Stephen King, for his part, is remaining cautiously optimistic: “Other people have tried fantasy spectacle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it works really well when it’s based on a series of books, like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, and sometimes it doesn’t. What I have to go back to is this: We have Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, two great actors.”

If it starts to look like it’s not working, they could always cross promote by enlisting expert pitchman Matthew McConaughey to do a cameo in the Harry Potter spinoff trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Yeah, I just really wanted to use that GIF. Baby, can you dig your man?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)