Best-selling horror author Stephen King is rarely one to shy away from controversy, so it's not that surprising that when there's a tempest brewing in the Internet's teapot about one of his best-loved works, King would chime in.
Along with rumors that Idris Elba could be cast as Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower came a backlash from those online who hope the job goes to a white man, as Deschain was described in the source material.
King, who actually appeared in the Dark Tower novels (they get weirdly meta at one point, but it's really good), tweeted yesterday without using Elba's name that "To me, the color of the gunslinger doesn't matter."
To me, the color of the gunslinger doesn't matter. What I care about is how fast he can draw...and that he takes care of the ka-tet.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 12, 2015
That's probably as good an endorsement as King is allowed to make, since typically you're not supposed to talk about the $200 million movie that's about to go into production based on your books.
This isn't new territory for Elba, of course; besides being cast as the Norse god Heimdall in the Thor franchise from Marvel, his name also frequently comes up in connection with James Bond. In both cases, there are detractors and naysayers, but Elba's popularity has easily transcended the criticisms for a character like Heimdall, who isn't key to the franchise. Whether somebody like Roland or James Bond would get to the screen without fans throwing a Johnny Storm-sized fit isn't clear...yet.
Rumor has it Matthew McConaughey will play the Man in Black, a villain so dangerous he's actually appeared in other King novels under other names. One of those names, Randall Flagg, was the central antagonist in The Stand, and was the role McConaughey reportedly turned down to take on the part in The Dark Tower.