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It will never become normal to see casting news about The Dark Tower. After decades of fans wanting to see it happen, and years of attempts, the first film is truly moving forward. And now it has taken another step. The newest member of the Dark Tower cast will look familiar to fans of the work of Joss Whedon. Fran Kranz has reportedly taken the role of Pimli Prentiss.
Fran Kranz will be most recognizable to fans as one of the regular players in Joss Whedon’s pool of talent. He played Topher Brink, the young scientist responsible for the mind replacement tech in Dollhouse, as well as stoner Marty in Cabin in the Woods and even Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. Kranz’s new role role will be of a character named Pimli who The Hollywood Reporter describes as the "right hand of the Man in Black", the story’s lead villain who be played by Matthew McConaughey.
Once again, the casting news of The Dark Tower only serves to confuse the film rather than clarify it. Stephen King himself has previously said that the film adaptation will begin in "the middle of the story," which told us that it would be significantly different than the what we’re familiar with in the novels. Pimli, however, isn’t from the middle of the story, he’s from the end. The character of Pimli Prentiss as written by Stephen King only appears in the last book of the series and, while he has a major part to play in that final book, he’s nobody’s right-hand man.
This report seems to imply that this role is going to be seriously expanded upon in order to make Pimli a larger character in the overall story. One thing we have been told is that the first film will take place in large part in "our world" as opposed to that of the Gunslinger. As Pimli comes from that world, or at least one very like it, it’s possible we’ll be getting some of his backstory in this first film- something that never happened at all in the books.
This news follows reports that Jackie Earle Haley has been cast in the film to play another role that didn’t appear until the middle of the book series. And all of that appears downright normal compared to the announcement that Abby Lee had been cast as The Dark Tower’s female lead, in a role that even fans had to look up to verify it even appeared in the series.
While the production of The Dark Tower is continuing forward, it’s becoming no less interesting to watch than it was when we weren’t even sure if these movies would be made. As fans, we will continue to hold out hope, but we really have no idea what version of The Dark Tower we’re about to get. There truly are other worlds than these.