Sources are telling The Hollywood Reporter and Variety that Matthew McConaughey is circling The Dark Tower, the decade-long project adapting Stephen King’s novel series.
According to THR, McConaughey met with director Nikolaj Arcel last week, and is considering the role of Walter Padick (aka the Man In Black), who serves as the villain of the piece. This is the first interest from a major player in Hollywood since Javier Bardem was in negotiations back in 2011.
The project has stalled out a number of times, going through budget strains and moving from Universal to Sony. Producers Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Erica Huggins have been trying to get the film moving for close to a decade.
Negotiations with McConaughey have not begun yet, according to reports, but if he sings on this will bring the project one step closer to actually being a reality. Padick’s mission is to stop hero Roland Deschain from finishing his quest to get to the Dark Tower. Deschain is a member of a knightly order of gunslingers, with the Dark Tower being a nexus point for a multiverse.
King’s book series is a Western Fantasy hybrid, set in an alternate universe where magic is prominent. In the first book, The Gunslinger, Padick is pursued by Deschain. The demonic sorcerer first appeared in The Stand, going by the name of Randall Flagg. According to the report, McConaughey was offered this role as well. Likely this is in connection to the upcoming Showtime miniseries intended to launch a theatrical film.
The Gunslinger will be the first in the series, and the script has been completed. Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner handled writing duties.
The movie is currently set to hit theaters January 13, 2017.