Stephen King's books and stories have been made into numerous film adaptations over the years, but it took until 2017 for his masterpiece — The Dark Tower series — to be brought to the screen. In the first The Dark Tower trailer, which was released on May 3, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey bring King's iconic characters of the Gunslinger and the Man in Black to life. The Gunslinger, whose real name is Roland Deschain, is from a mystical Mid-World and teams up with a boy from the regular world, Jake, to stop the evil Walter Padick (the Man in Black) from destroying a tower that protects the two worlds. And, just as suspected, Elba as the Gunslinger in The Dark Tower trailer has all the right levels of badassery to take on this epic character.
For those who have wanted the British actor to play James Bond, you can take some major delight in Elba being the Gunslinger in The Dark Tower since he epitomizes the strong, silent type in King's story. Plus, as the trailer shows, he gets to be a master of guns; he is a Gunslinger after all.
But when Elba was originally cast as the Gunslinger, some fans of King's series weren't happy about it since Roland is white in the books. While I get the devotion to characters in books, it's not a new phenomenon for a movie to change the appearance of a book character, and it's beyond absurd that anyone would take issue with Elba's race instead of his talent (which, in case you were wondering, is immensely high).
That was my firm belief before The Dark Tower trailer was released and anyone who had been dissatisfied with the casting should be in full agreement with me now after seeing a glimpse of Elba's fierce performance in the trailer.
The actor has more than proven in projects like The Wire, Beasts of No Nation, and Luther how incredible of an performer he is, and his talent is going to only elevate this already highly-anticipated movie if the trailer is any indication. I mean, I got chills from him speaking about his relationship to his guns — a topic I'm usually not so keen on. And I'm generally stoked to see Elba as the lead of such a major film, something the first trailer reinforced.
Yes, as the internet has made abundantly clear, Elba's costar McConaughey has more of that Clint Eastwood look that King had originally envisioned when it came to Roland. But if you've got a problem with Elba as the Gunslinger because of his race — well, frankly, shut up.