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The long in-development Dark Tower movie is currently filming in New York City. While the only images we've seen so far have been unofficial, and thus, not very good, we now have our first close-up view of Idris Elba as The Gunslinger. This is thanks to the film's producer, Ron Howard, who recently visited the set and got a picture with the director and star.
Idris Elba is wearing the same outfit here that he was in the previous set photos we've seen, so we know he's working here. The only difference is that his outer shirt is buckled closed, whatever that means. There's nothing about the outfit worn by Roland Deschain that is particularly special. That's part of the point. Roland looks like the hero from any generic western picture, What makes The Gunslinger an iconic character is the drive and focus that he embodies, not what he looks like.
While Ron Howard refers to Idris Elba and director Nikolaj Arcel as his dream team, we'd include Howard himself in that category. Originally Howard was on board to direct the film, but had to bow out of that seat due to the continual delays that the project saw after several studios decided to pass on it. Still, Howard remained the primary producer on The Dark Tower series, and is certainly part of the reason that the movie is now filming.
Originally, The Dark Tower was filming in South Africa, though according to Ron Howard, they are now in New York City. This makes sense as some fairly large chunks of the books actually take place there. Although, at the same time, it does show just how different this version of the story will be. Most of the parts of the books that take place in New York City don't include Roland actually being in New York, and those that do are certainly not found early in the books. Since the place where they're all standing in this picture looks to be a fairly standard city street, this appears to be yet another change that the movie is setting up.
Stephen King has previously said that the movie will actually start much later in the story compared to where the books pick up. In addition, a tweet sent out by the author has indicated that the movies may actually act as a sequel to the books, rather than a retelling. This could help explain several of the changes, including the inclusion of characters in the movie who will play much larger roles than they ever did in the books.
The Dark Tower is currently scheduled for release on February 17, 2017. Only then will we know whether this dream team has remembered the face of their father.