Idris Elba’s casting as The Gunslinger in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower came at a time when Hollywood was (and still is) under fire more than ever about a lack of diversity in their films. Fans have petitioned for Idris Elba to play James Bond for a while now, but while he may not be donning a tuxedo anytime soon, he did break barriers by taking on an iconic role many visualize as a white male.
Of course, some fans caused a commotion stating that the character should have remained white as intended. Amusingly, one of the people who was delighted with the casting was the author himself: Stephen King. Speaking To CinemaBlend, the writer talks about the controversy, and also finds time to take a dig at Game of Thrones…
“What I said in a tweet, after all of that discussion started, was that I didn’t care what color he was, so long as he could command the screen, draw fast and shoot straight. It doesn’t make any difference to me. I don’t even really see people when I’m writing. If I’m writing about a character, I’m behind their eyes. Unless they walk by a mirror or something, I don’t even really see what they look like.”
“What really sort of made it an issue, in my mind, when they cast Idris as Roland was… all of those books were illustrated, to start with,” he continued. “And in all of those pictures, Roland is a white guy. I never thought about that one way or another. But obviously that became part of the mindset. But you know, it’s weird, isn’t it? Why shouldn’t he be black? Why couldn’t it be a black guy to do this? You know what’s weirder than that? You see this show Game of Thrones? About Westeros? They’re all British! Westeros is basically England, right! And nobody ever questions that. [Laughs] To me, the idea that a black man would play Roland is minor, compared to that.”
If the actual writer of the book says it makes sense then this issue should really be put to rest, no? Besides, Elba’s casting may actually be one of the stronger aspects of The Dark Tower, as the film is not exactly garnering stellar reviews.
SEE ALSO: Read our review of The Dark Tower here
There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen. The last Knight Warrior, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
The Dark Tower is set for release on August 4th in the States and August 18th in the UK, and sees Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) directing a cast that includes Idris Elba (Luther) as Roland Deschain, Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar) as the Man in Black, Tom Taylor (Doctor Foster) as Jake Chambers, Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Tirana, Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) as Pimli, Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) as Richard Sayre, Michael Barbieri (Little Men) as Timmy, Claudia Kim (Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Arra Champignon and Katheryn Winnick (Vikings) as Laurie Chambers.
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