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New details on 'Dark Tower' movie, newest King adaptation, revealed

The coming adaptation of Stephen King's 'Tower' novels, which arrives in February, stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.

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Idris Elba poses in the press room at the Oscars in Los Angeles in 2015. Mr. Elba will co-star in the film adaptation of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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More details have been revealed about the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King's series "The Dark Tower," the author's newest work to be adapted for either film or TV.

Mr. King published the first book in the series, which is titled "The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger," in 1982. The series consists of eight books, and centers on protagonist Roland and his hunt for the Man In Black. 

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The upcoming film adaptation, which will be released next February, stars Idris Elba of "Finding Dory" as Roland and "Free State of Jones" actor Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black.

Mr. McConaughey has previously spoken about how his unusual character is depicted in King's novel.

"I'm not a big sci-fi buff … this one came along, though," the actor told MTV. "The Man in Black, I looked at that and said, 'Oh, I can be whoever I want to be in this one.' I'm not sure who I'm going to be yet." 

Meanwhile, Mr. Elba says his character is struggling when the audience first sees him. 

"When we meet Roland, he's a bit lost," Elba told Entertainment Weekly. "He's been walking around for a long time, so he definitely feels like a man who's … coiled."

Those behind the movie also revealed to Entertainment Weekly that two characters whom Roland meets in the novels, Eddie and Susannah, will not be in the movie but could pop up in a future installment if the first "Dark" movie does well.

"Dark" will be the newest property to be adapted from King's work. The list includes popular films such as 1976's "Carrie," the 1980 movie "The Shining," the 1986 film "Stand By Me," and 1994's "The Shawshank Redemption."

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TV has also been the home of King adaptations as well, such as the recent series "Under the Dome" on CBS, which concluded last fall, which was based on the author's novel of the same name. In 1994, a four-part miniseries based on a King novel, "The Stand," aired on ABC.

Recent adaptations of King's work show how TV has evolved, as have the guidelines for how a project can be adapted for film and TV. 

An adaptation of one of King’s more recent books, "11/22/63," aired on Hulu, the streaming service that is also the location of TV series such as "The Mindy Project" and "Difficult People." Over the last few years, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have attracted similarly well-known projects. 

At one point during the development of "Tower," the possibility of telling the story as both movies and TV episodes was announced. This echoes how the lines between film and TV are blurring, with an acclaimed TV series such as the British program "Sherlock," for example, airing 90-minute episodes (a possible length for a feature film) and the well-reviewed documentary "O.J. Simpson: Made in America" being screened in theaters and airing on TV.


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