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.”