When The Dark Tower opens in theaters on August 4, fans of Stephen King‘s popular book series will be alternately elated and worried. Elated because it’s taken multiple years, and multiple directors, for the film version to arrive on the big screen. And worried because there’s only so much of the eight book saga that a 95-minute film can cover.
The movie’s stars, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, understand those concerns. “If I could talk to the fans of the books directly, I’d want them to know this is a film that has done everything in its power to stay true to the books as much as possible,” Elba tells Yahoo Movies. “This is an interpretation of these well-written and well-loved characters.” (Watch our interview above.)
Few characters are as well-loved in the King canon as Roland Deschain, the last in a line of mystical gunslingers who walks the landscape carrying his trusty pistols. His target is McConaughey’s Man in Black, with whom he shares a tortured history. Some of that history will be glimpsed in the film, while other details likely will be saved for future installments in the planned franchise.
Elba says he did his homework to ensure he wielded Roland’s guns with authority. “We wanted to make this realistic, although this is a fantastical story,” he says. “I spent some time in gun ranges, and learned a little bit about aerodynamics and how that might affect a straight bullet. The guns were really heavy and there was a lot of running around.”
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