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Fans of Stephen King have waited years to see a film version of The Dark Tower book series, and this weekend they will finally get their wish. The adaptation of the iconic novels has become one of the most interesting big screen projects of the summer, and two utterly fascinating aspects of the entire production are Matthew McConaughey's performance as The Man in Black and Idris Elba's performance as Roland Deschain. In fact, Elba recently addressed his decision to portray The Gunslinger at The Dark Tower premiere and explained that it's all about trying something new and fresh, saying:
I wanted to be the hero, but I just didn't want to be any old hero. I wanted to be in something original. I didn't want to be in a remake, you know, I've got family with Marvel, I've got family with Disney and now I've made family in this lineage. This is original. This is me at the helm and it's a character that we haven't seen before.
The Dark Tower is an adaptation, but it's an adaptation that we haven't really seen before. Like I already said, fans have been waiting to see The Dark Tower debut on the silver screen ever since the first books hit shelves back in the 1980s. Despite the apparent homage that someone like Roland pays to classic western heroes such as Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name, the character has never appeared in a live-action format -- thus making him a perfect opportunity for Elba to dive in and try something entirely new. By taking on this role, Elba can break new ground in ways that other established characters simply can't.
Idris Elba has appeared in a ton of great films and TV shows over the years, but the last few years have been heavily defined by his work as Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Thor franchise, as well as the villainous Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. As successful as those Marvel and Disney properties are, they simply haven't allowed him to take center stage as a hero in a way that he has wanted -- and he's been pretty open about that.
With Roland looking like one of the coolest heroes of the summer, that all could change very soon. Who knows? If this interdimensional action-adventure proves successful with audiences, then Idris Elba could potentially even become the definitive Gunslinger for years to come.
It's also worth mentioning that Idris Elba's comments to the Associated Press about wanting to portray an original hero could potentially shoot down the overwhelming fan desire to see him step into the suit of another classic silver screen hero. A growing segment of the audience has called for the actor to become one of the frontrunners to play James Bond if (and when) Daniel Craig eventually steps down. If Elba is currently in the market for more original characters with less established iconography, it could make him less inclined to take the role if the Broccoli family decides to give him a chance. We will just have to wait and see.
Idris Elba will strap on Roland Deschain's guns to fight The Man in Black when The Dark Tower debuts in theaters this weekend on August 4.