This has been around for a couple of years and after having read all 7 books (and only hated half of the last one), and ALL the comics, and Robin’s Guide to the Dark Tower, I was psyched to see a movie adaptation coming along. Then disappointed when I saw Idris Elba cast as Roland. Not Racist here, just basically raising my fist to the producer who thought casting a black actor to play a white guy’s role (same as in the Netflix adaptation of Death Note – Netflix’s ‘Death Note’ accused of ‘whitewashing’).
Roland Deschain, for those of you who have not read the epic series, is the last Gunslinger, a descendant of Eld with blue bombardier eyes and a Clint Eastwood look about him.
Doesn’t the strong eye color hint more than a stern stare? When you look at him, Last Gunslinger of Mid-World, even his big guns are the reforged metal from the sword of Eld.
I personally always think of it as the way the eyes of the main character is described in Lois Lowry’s The Giver, that the blue is special.
The story focuses a lot on race because of Detta Walker. To make Roland black changes many things about the story, not just character descriptions but character interactions and choices. If the studio changes Roland to be black then they are openly saying the show or movie will have major changes (and who wants that?).
To me character appearance shouldn’t be changed at all from book to adaptation. People go on journeys with these characters and become attached to them. If Stephen King wanted Roland to be black he should’ve done it in the books first and not made such an issue about race/eyes in said books.
To me, the color of the gunslinger doesn’t matter. What I care about is how fast he can draw…and that he takes care of the ka-tet.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 12, 2015
Reading the books, it’s easy to picture Roland as a man who’s hardened by experience and fueled with determination, but also has some emotional vulnerabilities. Striking the right balance for this character would be a challenge for any actor, and potentially crucial to the success of the films. When it comes down to it, Elba has proven to have the range to handle a part like this. He’s also in his 40s, which seems like the right age range for the part.
Some people are saying that the movie will not be the books and are getting caught up in the ending of the book saga. When Roland reaches the tower, he goes inside and sees his entire life choices up until the point when he reached the tower and when he steps through the last door, he finds himself back in the desert, but this time he has the horn of Eld with him. They are saying this Black Roland is another version of Roland walking through that door before or after the book as the cycles are infinite.
Then why not make Roland a woman? Sigourney Weaver would actually make a great Roland. If they don’t go with Idris, I hope they consider her.
“Control the things you can control, maggot. Let everything else take a flying fuck at you and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing.”
― Stephen King, The Drawing of the Three
I’m not usually fussed about movies and books. Loved The Giver mentioned above, even went to see all of Beautiful Creatures, Divergent and the Maze Runner.
The notable exceptions for me are: •IT •The Shining •The Stand •Pet Sematary •Salem’s Lot
Hollywood has a knack for butchering Stephen King’s work. I saw those movies before reading the books, and the books ruined the movies for me. Especially IT and The Shining. And the only reason Misery isn’t on there is Cathy bates perfect portrayal of Annie Wilkes.
“The Tower. He would come to the Dark Tower and there he would sing their names; there he would sing their names; there he would sing all their names. The sun stained the east a dusky rose, and at last Roland, no longer the last gunslinger but one of the last three, slept and dreamed his angry dreams through which there ran only that one soothing blue thread: There I will sing all their names!”
― Stephen King, The Drawing of the Three