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The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)
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Scifi / Fantasy News > Idris Elba is Roland the Last Gunslinger

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Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments After years of development, the first film based upon Stephen King's Dark Tower series is set to begin production with Idris Elba as Roland and Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flagg/Walter/Johnny Cash.

Elba's a great choice for Roland, except for the part where a large part of the story won't make any sense if Roland's black. There are some other odd details, like a character named Tirana and hints they won't be starting with the first book.


message 2: by Tobias (last edited Mar 01, 2016 01:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 136 comments I've seen a lot of people say that large parts of the story don't make sense with a black Roland, but I don't understand that. It doesn't affect the story a lot. It affects the dialogue in the second book, but not really the plot, does it? Change the words "honky mofo" to "Uncle Tom" and it's fixed, isn't it? The character who says these words is crazy, and in addition to either believing herself to be the victim of racism or being racist against white people, she's delusional, thinks Roland is a rapist and that he has poisoned her food. Craziness can be portrayed many ways. I think most of that sequence would be cut anyway (view spoiler).

I think the importance of Roland's race is way overblown. Yes, it is made a point of in the books, several times, but it's not integral to the plot itself. (view spoiler)

A lot of things will be changed from the books anyway. I'm sure excising that sequence from the second book will be fine. Your link doesn't work, but from the article I gathered that the adapted story will be heavily cut and altered (as it must be).


Leesa (leesalogic) | 643 comments I love Idris Elba! He'll be a great Roland. I agree with all your points, Tobias.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments I've always seen Roland as black, so much so that when I first saw a still from the Book of Eli trailer, I thought they had made The Gunslinger!!


message 5: by Bill (last edited Mar 02, 2016 10:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill | 105 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I've always seen Roland as black, so much so that when I first saw a still from the Book of Eli trailer, I thought they had made The Gunslinger!!"

That would be tough to do after reading book 2.

I think the bigger issue will be body type. I always think of Roland as being lean and wiry with a worn look to him. So will be interesting to see if the have Elba drop some of his muscle and thin out a bit.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments Bill wrote: "Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I've always seen Roland as black, so much so that when I first saw a still from the Book of Eli trailer, I thought they had made The Gunslinger!!"


That would be tough to do after reading book 2..."


Oh, you mean for you. Because I've read through book 4 and see race as a minor if not irrelevant point to his character.


Bill | 105 comments I mean for his interaction with Detta Walker. Race is a theme in book 2 and is the cause for much of the early tension in the group. It also pops up and has an impact at different times throughout the series.

I'm not saying this to start an argument with you or as a reason to make a case against Idris Elba but it is a part of the series and something they will have to adapt the story to work around.


message 8: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tassie Dave | 3536 comments Mod
They are going to have to drop major sections, story arcs and characters from the story to fit it into a movie, even if they end up making it a trilogy. So adapting the story is something they are going to have to do anyway.

I haven't heard if it is going to be 1, 2 3 or more movies but King has said it won't start at the beginning (Apart from using the opening line and visual)

I think the casting choices are brilliant.

I love Idris' Tweet to MM :-)
https://twitter.com/idriselba/status/...

and the response.
https://twitter.com/McConaughey/statu...


Darren Great choices.


message 10: by Rik (new)

Rik | 777 comments Race is a major component of the series. I just don't think you can do Susannah's story justice with a black Roland.

Matthew McConneaghy (however you spell it) would have made a great Roland.


message 11: by Trike (new) - rated it 1 star

Trike | 8477 comments I'm very happy we have now crossed the 200th adaptation of Stephen King works. He needs the money and attention.


message 12: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tassie Dave | 3536 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "I'm very happy we have now crossed the 200th adaptation of Stephen King works. He needs the money and attention."

Wow, I never knew it was that high.
I would think he'd be only second to Shakespeare with that number. Probably ahead if you counted number of different stories.
Shakespeare's hit rate would be higher though. There is a big divide between the best SK adaptions and the worst.


message 13: by Sean (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Trike wrote: "I'm very happy we have now crossed the 200th adaptation of Stephen King works. He needs the money and attention."

Actually, a large number of the films listed for him in IMDb are "dollar babies" -- student films where he sold the rights for one dollar. That's why some of his short stories have multiple adaptations every year.

On top of that, he never cashed the check Frank Darabont sent him for the rights to The Shawshank Redemption.


message 14: by Alan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alan | 534 comments I doubt any film adaptation would have dealt well with the racial tensions anyway so I have zero reservations and am nothing but excited about Idris Elba being cast.


message 15: by Trike (new) - rated it 1 star

Trike | 8477 comments Sean wrote: "Trike wrote: "I'm very happy we have now crossed the 200th adaptation of Stephen King works. He needs the money and attention."

Actually, a large number of the films listed for him in IMDb are "dollar babies" -- student films where he sold the rights for one dollar. That's why some of his short stories have multiple adaptations every year.

On top of that, he never cashed the check Frank Darabont sent him for the rights to The Shawshank Redemption. "


That's why he needs the money.


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