Matthew McConaughey fled across the desert…

November 22, 2015

in Casting

This last week brought some interesting casting news, and perhaps the final indication we need that Sony are really going ahead with their Dark Tower movie franchise. The news broke on Monday that Matthew McConaughey was offered the lead role of The Gunslinger.

Multiple individuals familiar with the situation“, leaked the news to TheWrap*, so we should perhaps take this information with a pinch of salt until we get something more official from a Sony or Imagine Entertainment representative.

The individuals are saying that McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, HBO’s True Detective) was not only offered the lead role, but also that of the Man in Black, and they’re saying that he’s actually leaning toward that role! You’d think the lead role of Roland would hold a stronger appeal, but it’s not unusual for actors to prefer more villainous roles, and of course the commitment would be somewhat less than that of the Gunslinger.

This is the first real news regarding casting since Sony took over the project back in April, but with the January 2017 release date just a little over a year away, they need to get a move on.


* Follow this link to read TheWrap exclusive

Aloenam November 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

If I have to pick I would much rather see him as The man in Black than Long, Tall and Ugly. Although I’m not sure if I like him as the man in black either but as I type this sentence out I’m slowly warming up to it. He could probably pull it off. However since we are taking this information with a grain of salt I will wait for a more… “Official” word on the subject.

Roger November 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm

I’d see him rather more as an Eddie than a Roland and/or the man in black… but does not matter as long as they make the movie(s) 🙂

PLEASE!!!! November 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Cast Clint Eastwood and his son as Roland!! Use Clint for the later years, and his son to show back stories!!

Sylvain November 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Since M. McConaughey is expected to be Randall Flagg for “The Stand”, it would make sense that he would be the man in black in the DT. This would highlight the connection between the two.

Mike November 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Karl Urban would make a great Roland, watch his performance in Priest if you have any doubts.

Darwin November 27, 2015 at 6:34 pm

@ any rate we should expect western styled actors to be present ………hence the idea of using old antics with new actors as mentioned above…..these books deserve a “trilogy” approach….I afraid that only SK fans would appreciate …………………………..

Darwin November 27, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Note to any producer…if you use an actor to portray a character in one film, and then change that actor with another, you ruin the whole idea of the film. Ron Howard should know this. who ever Roland may be, Eddie Dean, …or Detta Walker for that matter, lets make sure they remain the same people through out the whole freaking trilogy.

Darwin November 27, 2015 at 6:48 pm

but…….Roland D….. I would suggest Viggo Mortensen…..the old tall, dark, and ugly from TLOFT trilogy…….

Faith December 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Jensen Ackles should play Roland

Jeremiah December 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm

I’m not too enthused about the idea of McCon. playing either role. This just shows that Sony is trying to appeal to a mainstream audience and not taking the production of the film seriously. Can someone please explain to them that this film is based off of gothic literature and not some rudy-pooh teen fiction series? True fans of TDT are not interested in Seeing their baby adapted into the next Divergent series. If Sony wants to cast a mainstream actor, I’m fine with Viggo, Hugh Jackman, or even Andy Lincoln. Roland is not an overly charismatic character, so an actor with a colder demeanor would be best for the role.

Jeremiah December 2, 2015 at 9:08 pm

I can’t recall his name, but how about the actor who plays the character Jaime Lannister on AGOT? There is something despicable about him by nature, or maybe it’s the role that he plays. Either way, you have the perfect anti-hero with that guy…I could see him pulling off Roland or the man in black…and the ladies wouldn’t mind, if that’s your agenda, Sony… I could see Jaime playing the role of Eddie too…pick your poison.

Slow Mutant December 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

Forget movies, they should make Dark Tower into an open-world game like “Grand Theft Auto” or sum such. Who wouldn’t want to be a gunslinger in that world and on their own personal journey to The Tower? I’ll be a waiting under the mountains for youse.

Forgetful Jones December 5, 2015 at 1:20 am

Ok, mcconaghuey could be great in either role, but no way to every other suggestion I’ve heard. Karl urban is terrible, dredd proves that. Jensen ackles is a soap actor with nowhere near the skill needed, viggo maybe but he’s too pretty… If they can’t get Christian bale then go back to bardem or even josh brolin but don’t pick a pretty boy please! Roland is the hardass of all time and he needs to be able to act

Ed December 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm

I have only ever imagined and seen Clint Eastwood as Roland.

Chuck in the DE December 11, 2015 at 7:37 am

I can’t stomach Matthew McConaughey. If he has to be there, give him the smallest role possible. If he is the Gunslinger, I probably will not see the movie. And that’s a shame, because I loved the books!

frozensolid_702 December 19, 2015 at 2:30 am

Soooo….. Idris Elba as Roland is the latest rumor, and it has some credibility to it. He’s a great actor and all, but does he fit the character?
I was thinking along the lines of Josh Brolin from No Country for Old Men.
Thoughts?

Oy December 19, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Sylvain and Jeremiah definitely won this thread.

Excellent points, both of you!

Jennifer Sutley December 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Anson Mount is the one to play Roland. They be making a mistake if they did offer it to him. he has already said if offered he would take the part.

bwFrampton January 3, 2016 at 9:39 am

Just got a look at some pictures on the web. Why not Peter Billingsley as Roland?

Marcus Hansen January 3, 2016 at 10:21 am

What you think of Josh Duhamel ad Roland?

Ka is a wheel January 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm

I still believe Timothy Olyphant would Make a Great Roland not sure why everyone whats javier bardem, or viggio both of these men cant be roland they just dont have that look. Tall and slimm and a mean stare, Thats Roland, Like a rough beef jerkey out in the sun to long. I you look at Olyphants work in Justified its a dead ringer. All other positions will fall as they may. Not every fan will be happy with any decision. It would just be sad to see the roll of roland go to someone thats not what he was written about, We would all love for mister east wood to go back in time and play roland but we cant. I am very scared for this project it means so much to so many ture readers like my self. I just hope they dont messit up to much. It would be amazing to see these heros come to life.

Andy the Robot January 10, 2016 at 11:18 pm

Why is no one looking at J. Depp for the role of Roland. Roland is a weird dude. No one does weird dude like Depp.

BEN January 15, 2016 at 3:06 am

I THINK hUGH JACKMAN WOULD BE A GREAT ROLAND

Bango Skank January 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Kevin James would make the PERFECT Roland. Have you seen the Paul Blart movies? Now there’s a gunslinger!

Slinger February 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I’ve been on “The Dark Tower” ride since the week of the initial release of book 1. I’ve read the entire series more then a dozen times, and some of the books even more.

But, if Idris Alba is cast as Roland . . . I will NOT enter a theatre for this bastardized adulteration of this incredible series into movie form.

Rick Ramirez February 9, 2016 at 11:46 pm

Timothy Oliphant would be perfect as Roland. The walk and the look.

Aloenam February 11, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Slinger,

In my opinion that’s cause for concern. I suppose we should have expected this since Javier was one of the actors offered the lead role. To “their” credit at least Javier would’ve made more sense than Idris. However Idris Alba changes the entire dynamic of the story. If you give him the lead you completely take away from Susanna’s character. As Detta Walker, she hated Eddie and mostly Roland because they were white. To her they represented everything negative about white culture and she wanted to kill them. She even referred to them as honky voodoo Mu-Fuz and that changes if Idris is cast as Roland. Furthermore her romance with Eddie represented growth for her character. By having a black lead you are basically forced to rewrite her entire character and part of both Eddies and Roland’s as well. I’m all for diversity but when you have to rewrite a story to allow for it then it just doesn’t make much sense to me to cast that individual in the first place. That being said, have the people in charge of casting even read the story??? Shouldn’t they know better??? This is nothing more than change for the sake of change.

This move simply makes no sense to me at all. If there is someone who can convince me otherwise please do so. I’d like to hear what you think.

Ka is a wheel February 15, 2016 at 1:51 am

Idris , no doubt is a great actor, but for Rolland I just don’t understand how, the dynamic between Rolland and Detta walker would be totally gone, How do you remove that from this story, Its Detta who see Rolland as the devil and how he is death him self, totally confused on why he would be even cast,

Ka is a wheel February 15, 2016 at 1:54 am

is this done for a shock value maybe to draw a crowd to be interested, Susanna is a lead roll, could you change her to a white actor,????? it just doesn’t work

Roland 19 February 27, 2016 at 6:17 am

Idris Elba is a great actor but as Roland Deschain a big big resounding NO. With all the talent to choose from why did they go with him? Soooooooo disappointed. Having read all the books like so many people I had an image of Roland. Never gonna watch this movie / series and destroy the fantasy. Sony is pony.

Bango Skank February 27, 2016 at 11:39 am

So, it’s official now. It’s over before it begun. Oh, Discordia! Disappointing to say the very least.

BC March 4, 2016 at 11:09 pm

If Idris was white you would all love his casting and applaud the production. Yes this makes you racist regardless of the excuse. Did you ever really think a major studio was going to keep the Detta character as written? Who would even want to play such a cliche character?

But you guys are right. Obviously the director, writers, and Stephen King himself just don’t understand how the character dynamic works. Your the genius who should explain it to them. Its obvious how this will play out yes? Get it? Jeeze people.

Bango Skank March 6, 2016 at 4:50 pm

BC, don’t be an idiot. It’s not racist to want a white actor to play a character that is white. If Roland being white had no bearing at all on the story, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with it. But Roland being a “honky mahfuh” is a fairly important aspect of Odetta/Detta’s storyline. I’m only upset that a black guy is playing Roland because it means that the story on the screen won’t be the same one that I’ve read several times over.

I’ll still see it and maybe even like it, but not as much as I would have hoped.

Bishop_1207 March 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Like many others i always saw a Hang Em High Clint Eastwood type, and I actually had concerns when i heard Idris was being cast for the part of Roland. And the first thing that came to mind was with him beind a black male how would the conflict with Detta and the Honky Muh F*** going to play out. Thinking about it at first was that there would have to be major rewrites due to a Black Roland, But Then i realized that the delusional mind of Detta Walker was just that, a delusion. In delusional state of mind she sees what she wants to see. She believed that she was being raped by Roland and Eddie while she slept, and it was just a delusional thought.

So with that said, the acting skills of Idris Alba can easily pull it off. Then reading this statement by Sai King himself helped clear any other doubts

On the character of Roland, King noted: “For me the character is still the character. It’s almost a Sergio Leone character, like the Man with No Name, while remarking, “He can be white or black, it makes no difference to me. I think it opens all kind of exciting possibilities for the backstory.

Just my opinion

J.J. April 4, 2016 at 2:33 am

I can’t believe some of the people that are being suggest for “old long, tall and ugly”. I have never seen any of Idris Elbas work and he may be a fine actor but he doesn’t have THE LOOK ok Roland. I have read the books multiple times and am n I w listening to the audio version but don’t believe I’ve seen any current actor capable of doing that role justice. I say that Stephevn King wrote these books and has an intimate relationship with Roland so why not let him be instrumental in casting the role of Roland Deschain.

Soletayr April 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Oh, I get it now. It is as if Roland the Persona had decided for this to happen.

Rebeccabrown June 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Wow!!!!Holy crap!!! I am elated to say the least, the d.t. stories are my favorite of stephen king’s stories. I get lost in all his books, but, Rowland has me mesmerized, I never pictured him to be an African american, but, I trust they will pick only the best to portray this story. I can’t wait for 2017, I will be one of the first in line.