EDIT: An early version of this story said The Dark Tower had begun production, as initially reported by EW. The headline has been corrected. Shooting on The Dark Tower begins in seven weeks in South Africa.
UPDATE: Looks like Elba and McConaughey are already getting into to character. The Gunslinger has begun following the Man in Black:
Author Stephen King has confirmed that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will star in the film adaptation of The Dark Tower.
Elba will play the hero of King’s long and complex saga, the gunslinger Roland Deschain, while McConaughey will play the antagonist, the mystical “man in black,” Randall Flagg.
“The thing is, it’s been a looong trip from the books to the film,” King told EW of getting the film off the ground. King began the series in the 1982 novel The Gunslinger. The final novel in the series, The Wind Through the Keyhole, was released in 2012. Several film adaptation of the series have started and then stalled out over the intervening years.
“When you think about it, I started these stories as a senior in college, sitting in a little sh-tty cabin beside the river in Maine, and finally this thing is actually in pre-production now,” King said. “I’m delighted, and I’m a little bit surprised.”
The Dark Tower will be directed by Nikolaj Arcel (The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, A Royal Affair). Production is set to begin in South Africa in April, and Sony Pictures is aiming for Jan. 13, 2017 release.
“What Stephen King does best is mixing the everyday, or what you might call the mundane, with the fantastical,” says Arcel. “In my view, [The Dark Tower] novels are a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and modern times. That exact mix is so Stephen King.”
Check out when The Dark Tower and other movies are coming out in ComicBook.com's Movie Release Schedule.