Day 56. 193 pages, 91,217 words.
Did you know this was probably-sort-of-maybe happening?
Did you know they’d offered Matthew McConaughey the part of Walter?
Did you know that Aaron Paul was talking about playing Eddie?
Did you know they were looking at IDRIS ELBA FOR THE PART OF ROLAND?
Well, now you know.
I had absolutely no idea this was happening. I haven’t really followed Dark Tower news since the book series ended. I know there’s a comic book adaptation which is meant to be great, and there has been talk about movies, television shows, mini-series and all sorts, forever. But it’s just such a huge project.
I still suspect it’s going to wind up in Production Hell, and I even more strongly suspect that Elba was just pipped here in order to generate buzz, both positive and negative. So what the heck, I don’t care, I’ll add to the buzz. I really like the idea of Elba as Roland. He’s maybe a bit too well-built – I consider Roland’s lankiness to be his defining characteristic – but otherwise, really cool. I mean, they can’t get a 40-year-old Clint Eastwood, so any alternative is going to be a distant second. I hear “Scott Eastwood” thrown around, but I don’t know about that.
Idris Elba in EVERYTHING!
Anyway, sure, I think there’s definitely such a thing as a flavour-of-the-month actor being cast in all sorts of stuff just because it’s fashionable, and that can get irritating. And I’m awkwardly aware that there are probably political / racial / cultural motivations at work here. But I can’t help but think this would be fun to see. Mainly, I think I’m excited about the Dark Tower series happening any way it possibly can, and if it can have decent actors involved that would be a bonus. And Idris Elba can act. Simple as that. I haven’t seen him do a bad job yet, and he has spent a couple of movies holding a sword and wearing gold contact lenses, and then there was that movie where he was called Stacker Pentecost. And I still liked it.
 Because everybody cared that the Norse Gods probably didn’t have a token black guy, did they?
There were some really interesting points in the comments sections of these various stories, though. I know you don’t often see someone say that, but I suppose Nerdist has a decent readership. Issues worth thinking about include the problematic pop culture references (snitches and lightsabers, for example), and how they’re going to deal with that. Also, possibly, tie-ins with other King movies (particularly The Stand). Will they do that shit? Will they re-make those parts, or will they just gloss over it all?
Stephen King, of course, could play himself at last. They’d better get a move on with the films though, because he’s not getting any younger (and those minivan drivers aren’t getting any more careful … sorry).
The character of Susannah was also cited as an issue once Elba was suggested as the lead. This sort of makes sense because the main character and plot arc with Odetta / Detta / Susannah is entirely to do with her race. On the other hand, Roland is from another world entirely so I don’t see how his colour is going to have much bearing on that. It will probably affect their interaction (she won’t be able to call him a HONK MAFAH), but I can see several ways the writers could get around it.
All in all, I’m excited about this and it looks like 2017 is shaping up to be a great year. But if they make a whole movie series out of the books, I’m worried that they’re going to end up with the same problem the Narnia series had – specifically, that the final few books are comparatively weak and definitely less popular, and getting the audience to follow them into three or four 2-hour-plus movies (not to mention a television series) might be a challenge.