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Out of the two legendary Stephen King projects that are in development right now, it looks like The Dark Tower has the upper hand in getting to the screen first. Though that victory is just barely won, especially after reading the recent remarks King himself has made about the film's fate.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Stephen King was asked for comment about the long gestating adaptation and its recent flurry of activity. Seeing as King is an author of the highest order, and known for taking audiences on a cryptic ride with some of his works, he wove his magic in the following status update on the project:
It looks to me like it's more likely than not it'll happen at this point. Let's put it that way. I think that it's more likely than not that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey will be in it. But I can't say with any certainty. I know that they're trying to make deals with these actors [and] with Sony, and that's the extent of my knowledge.
While some may consider that to be a statement of playful puzzlement involving The Dark Tower's long march to becoming a feature film, Stephen King's words also read as a cautious reminder that he's been in this spot before all too often. By this point in history, we were supposed to have had a Dark Tower adaptation directed by Ron Howard and/or J.J. Abrams, set up at either Universal or Warner Bros, with Russell Crowe and Javier Bardem up for the role of Roland. Not to mention, we were also promised a TV series that ran parallel to the events of the films, but the less said about that the better. The point is, King has done this dance so often that he's minding how he wears his shoes whenever he's looking to twirl again.
And yet, for as cautious as Stephen King is playing his cards, he does seem pretty confident that his hand is a straight flush that'll bring The Dark Tower to us sooner than later. Better still, his faith in Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey's participation makes this news even more joyous, as both actors are not only powerhouses in their own right – but potentially going head to head in the battle of good versus evil. If all that's missing to bring this pony to the finish line is a studio greenlight and a terrific supporting cast, perhaps it is time to celebrate. We're still cautious, but we'll allow ourselves to buy into this prospect just a little bit more before we reel it back in.
If the fates allow, the stars align, and all of the contracts are signed on time, The Dark Tower should be saddling up for a January 13, 2017 release date. But if they bump it to later 2017 / early 2018, we'd understand, so long as everything is in its place.