Dark Tower Filming Begins + Casting Roundup

April 15, 2016

in Casting, General News

Earlier in the week Sony announced that principle filming had started on their Dark Tower movie franchise – this made for a great birthday present for yours truly!

I guess with such a big franchise Sony are unlikely to want any photo’s or other info leaked until later in the year, but still, I have my fingers crossed they’ll tease us with something soon.

Jackie Earle Haley in talks to play Sayre

Yesterday, Deadline broke the news that Jackie Earle Haley (Breaking Away, The Bad News Bears, Watchmen, A Nightmare on Elm Street) is in talks with Sony to take on the role of Richard Patrick Sayre – the vampire leader who briefly appears in the Wolves of Calla, with his major appearence coming in Song of Susannah – the 5th and 6th books in the Dark Tower series.

If you’d like to read the article click here although there’s no additional information given.

Dark Tower Casting Roundup

Things are starting to come together now with some main character roles having been filled. Here’s a very brief outline of where things are currently at:

Roland Deschain (The Gunslinger) is to be played by British actor Idris Elba, with Matthew McConaughey taking on the role of his nemesis The Man In Black (Randall Flagg). For the role of Jake Chambers, Sony have cast the young Brit, Tom Taylor.

We’ve also heard rumours that Abbey Lee may take on the role of Tirana, and previously, Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul has expressed a keen interest in playing Eddie Dean.

As of today, there’s still no news on who will play Susannah.

That rounds up the current situation, but now that principle photography has begun, I’m sure we’ll start to hear a lot more in the coming weeks and months.

The movie is slated for release on February 17, 2017, and will be directed by Nikolaj Arcel.

Dave Williams April 23, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I can’t express the excitement coursing through my veins after reading that finally after all these years, we are going to see Dark Tower come to life on the big screen. It’s with great anticipation to learn just how it’s all going to come together, how many movies will be enough to do this masterpiece justice. As the release date draws closer I will most certainly be re-reading all seven books that sit on my shelf. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

John Urwin April 26, 2016 at 1:13 am

I would like to know one thing. Exactly how FAR back in the series are they going with the Dark Tower storyline? The reason I ask is this: Susannah Dean does NOT start as Susannah Dean, but Detta/Odetta Walker. In her split persona, she is VERY much racist when it comes to Roland and Eddie in The Drawing of Three. Is the fact that Idris is playing Roland going to be a deciding factor in how this affects the storyline? What kind of changes will we see? It seems EVERY Stephen King book gets butchered in some way when it makes it onto the screen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still SUPER excited about it…I just wanted to know.

Bryan Trumble April 26, 2016 at 4:11 pm

John, I wondered the same thing, and to be honest was quite upset by the casting of Roland. Honestly though over thinking about it the last couple months, I can easily see them just having Detta, hating MEN not just white men. She was raped and crippled by a man, so they can easily just get rid of the racist hatred, and go with the man hatred. Either way, I am so GODDAMN excited about this movie!!!

M May 4, 2016 at 8:23 pm
joey June 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Well, being a fan for almost four decades, and my search for DARK TOWER stories back in the day, this project has me eagerly anticipating the story seen through other eyes( I so hope that Mr. King has some input, it is his vision after all). Fingers crossed!

Leslie July 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Roland is not black! Why do these screenplay writers have to screw with everything!!

jra July 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Not excited at all. As a matter of fact, I have no intention of watching any of it. I’ve read the books multiple times, and will again. I think it’s one of the best stories ever written. But, I also fully expect this effort to be butchered just as badly as almost everything else of Mr. King’s that has made it to the screen. Either he or the producers can’t resist the temptation to “improve” things, which usually makes a mess of the story we’ve all read and enjoyed. Idris Elba may be an incredible actor, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him in anything. But, making Roland black changes the entire dynamic of the relationship between Roland, Eddie, and Odetta / ‘Detta / Susannah. Which means the story is fundamentally changed from the get go. I’m also sure there will be some very creative editing going on, to the point that the story will be almost unrecognizable, either due to cost containment or time constraints. This means you’ll be left having to sit there and “fill in the blanks” from your knowledge of the books. I’ll refer you to “Under The Dome”. I made it about five minutes into the first episode, then turned it off. About the only resemblance to the book was the title. I’m looking for a movie / series that will be true to the books. If they can’t do that, I’m not interested. I’ll just read the books again, for the sixth or seventh time. Much more enjoyable than sitting through the frustration and disappointment.

Slow Mutant August 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm

The movie is another level of the Tower, similar but not identical to the Books. It will flesh out more of the Dark Tower Universe without changing anything in the Books. So the Roland of the movies is not the Roland in the Books.

Aloenam August 14, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Slow Mutant,

For a film that many hardcore DT fans are not looking forward to, you may have given them a perspective that makes this movie just bearable enough to endure. I hope the contribution of your wisdom to the DT universe does not go unnoticed.

LD&PN

Slow Mutant August 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

Roland is literally Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Roland is forced to sacrifice all his loved ones in pursuit of his obsession. We saw one journey in the Books. We will see another in the movies.

Rick D. October 3, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Slow Mutant,

THANK YOU!!!

That bit of perspective is brilliant and incredibly helpful!

Roland has relived this journey countless times and each one would be different from the last. That idea gives a lot of room for patience with the meddling of Hollywood.

I would prefer a strict rendition of the books but that simply may not ever be possible. In the meantime I will try to watch the first movie with an open mind and hope that it isn’t too disappointing.

LD&PN
Rick D.

Darcy January 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I am in total agreement with those who say that the casting of a black actor in the role of the Gunslinger is just plain wrong. Let me stress that I am in no way racist and am a great supporter of racial diversity in film. However, there is no need to change the character’s race to tell the story. There are several references to Roland being white including all the illustrations in the books. I can’t believe that Matthew McConaughey was cast as the Man in Black instead of as Roland since he would be perfect for that role. It is true that most of King’s works that have been made into film bear little resemblance to the books. It seems that after he has put his heart, soul and brilliance into a story, he would want it to be portrayed as he wrote it. It is very possible to stay true to the books when making a film. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are prime examples. When I heard that the Dark Tower series was being made into a movie, I first expected that it would be at least three films. I am just so disappointed in this. Having a black actor portraying Roland Deschain is the worst piece of casting since John Wayne appeared in a cameo as a Roman soldier in The Greatest Story Ever Told. I certainly won’t expose myself to the anger and disappointment that seeing the film would cause.

Slow Mutant January 7, 2017 at 12:38 pm

The only reason they’ve hired a black guy to play Roland is that they couldn’t find a middle-aged white guy who can dance the commala. Justin Timberlake is too young, Christopher Walken is too old, and Hugh Jackman is…shit, Hugh Jackman would be great for Roland…oh, Discordia!!

Patricia Roberts January 7, 2017 at 4:46 pm

I think Idris is perfect for the role, and I am eagerly anticipating this movie!

Chayes33 January 8, 2017 at 7:02 pm

So, I’m excited. Having found this series many years ago by finding book 2 on the beach!
But I am puzzled. In looking at IMDb at the cast, there is no one cast as detta walker or Eddie Dean, and there are many characters that I’ve never heard of. Also no Cort, Cuthbert or anyone from his childhood. I wonder what story they will tell….

Aloenam January 11, 2017 at 10:38 pm

@Chayes33

From what I understand the movie will be a telling of what happens after the books. It will not be a recreation or a rehash of what we already know but a continuation of the story after the end of book 7.

Rhea March 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

It’s funny how for years I’d check this website for any news of the dark tower movies. Now that the movie is actually being made and there is tons of news about it, this website stopped updating…