BBC America's "Luther" Screening - Red CarpetHere's some juicy casting news: According to a new report, the long-gestating (and long-troubled) big screen adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series may have just found its leading man, and it's a high-profile actor that's been in the news a lot lately.

Deadline has the scoop that producers have identified Idris Elba as their top choice to play Roland Deschain, known as The Gunslinger in King's books. Elba would face off against would-be antagonist Matthew McConaughey, who's being eyed to play the villain, Randall Flagg, a.k.a. The Man in Black.

As with all things "Dark Tower," nothing should be considered official just yet, since this project has been in the works for years, and is now at its third studio, Sony, after false starts at both Universal and Warner Bros. The ambitious scope of the series seems to be what's holding things up, since filmmakers ideally would like to transform King's seven books into several feature films as well as a TV series that would run in between the theatrical outings, a tricky release strategy that would require serious time commitment from its stars and producers.

So could Elba fit the bill? He's been red-hot lately, thanks to the awards season love he's been getting for "Beasts of No Nation," as well as his beloved turn in BBC series "Luther," and the much buzzed-about rumor that he could be tapped as the next James Bond. And his acting chops in both action and drama certainly would lend themselves well to the meaty role of Roland. Would he be willing to spend so much time on one project, or is he better off seeking other opportunities in the years that it would no doubt take to bring "The Dark Tower" to life?

According to TheWrap, Elba is currently in "early talks" for the part, and McConaughey's rumored involvement seems to have played a large part in that. The trade notes that "the two actors are keen to work together," and Elba reportedly passed on starring in Universal's "The Mummy" reboot (which may or may not feature Tom Cruise) because he "was waiting for McConaughey's talks to progress before entertaining the idea" of joining "The Dark Tower."

Of course, McConaughey's involvement has yet to be confirmed by the actor himself, and "early talks" don't always amount to much in Hollywood. It would be safe to wait until someone at Sony says something on the record before we get our hopes up about this collaboration, but still, we think Elba (and McConaughey) would be awesome in this role. Stay tuned.

[via: Deadline, TheWrap]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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