Elba's Casting CONFIRMED?!!

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GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
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That's baddash, Shoomer. Except, at the bottom, on the credits it should read River Phoenix as Jake, score by Ennio Morricone, and Directed by Sam Peckinpah. Or John Huston, maybe.
(With Scatman Crothers as Hax the cook).

Hell, while we're wishing, let's have a cameo of Paul McCartney as the piano player in Tull hammering out Hey Jude on a beat-up old stride piano...
...*swoon*....
 

Stellablue

Member
Feb 28, 2017
7
32
From what I have heard and seen and gathered from the coming movie is that it is after Roland has reached his Tower in the books. It's the next spin of the wheel, and he has the horn so of course it will be different.
At first I was angered by the choices. Only because they make such a strong image of what the characters look like in the books. And I thought, How can you make the characters and there interactions and Dynamics between eachother work. I mean, how's Detta gonna call him a honky.
But if you look at it as another turn of the wheel, it doesn't matter. And we always have the true world to come back too. This is just another petal upon the rose.
I look at it as a second chance. Maybe at last he can meet all those who's names he called at tower in the clearing finally and find peace and redemption. Maybe this time he can get it right and finish his quest.
 

ThomasWinter

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Jun 2, 2017
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The responses to the Elba casting are somewhat eye-opening, somewhat unsurprising.

My thoughts on King saying he doesn't care about the race of the character is that it's the "right" thing for him to say at this time. I think he'd prefer the first (possibly only) film incarnation of Roland to be white, like he imagined when writing the series, but his more recent past has been filled with questions about his use of black characters in some of his writings - i.e. either they were throwaway side characters, or they were magical negroes and/or black characters with no wants or motivations of their own who solely exist to help white protagonist(s). I don't blame him for getting behind the casting of Elba. I can't imagine the backlash he'd receive if he boo-hooed the Elba casting. Maybe he truly doesn't care, and kudos to Mr. King if he doesn't.

As for many of the other constant readers who loathe the casting, some of it seems to come from just the fact that he's black, and although there are seemingly logical reasons given, the underlying tone is he's black and I want him to be white like I always imagined him to be. Some of you have said ANY of the other characters can be black, but Roland HAS to be white in order for the story to work, while others have laughably compared the casting of Elba as Roland (a fictional person whose race has nothing to do with character-personality-mannerisms) to a white actor playing Martin Luther King or Malcolm X (two real life black men whose work centered on them being black in America). I know this is not anyone's intentions, but it comes off in a way that reminds me of a saying - all you see is a black man, instead of a man that just happens to be black. That means that although Elba could do an incredible job as Roland, perfectly picking up all of his mannerisms and character traits from the book, the fact that he is not white will overtake any great performance he may bring to the screen.

Of course, the biggest reason brought up for why he should remain white is the character of Detta. Detta has to be able to call them all some "honky mahfahs" to add some conflict to the group and character for Susannah, but how can she do that without Roland being white, right? *sigh*...I absolutely hate the character/personality of Detta Walker. She's just a jive talking, sex-crazed, incredibly racist caricature of a black woman. There is absolutely NO WAY the filmmakers were going to keep that the same no matter who they cast as Roland or what kind of growth as a character she has throughout the book. I saw her character as problematic years ago when reading, and I will not be sad to see that personality gone (or at least dialed down a lot of notches).

--- I say all that to say this, I also would have loved to see Roland being played by a white actor. It's been almost 10 years since I read the books, but reading those books was like a journey where you could almost feel you're a part of the ka-tet yourself, and when you envision the characters as looking a certain way, it can be jarring and, in a way, heartbreaking when the first real visual representation of what you imagined is nowhere to be seen on the screen. However, I am still going to go into the movie with an open mind. The race change is nothing compared to other changes that may happen.
 

Geminii23

Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2015
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The responses to the Elba casting are somewhat eye-opening, somewhat unsurprising.

My thoughts on King saying he doesn't care about the race of the character is that it's the "right" thing for him to say at this time. I think he'd prefer the first (possibly only) film incarnation of Roland to be white, like he imagined when writing the series, but his more recent past has been filled with questions about his use of black characters in some of his writings - i.e. either they were throwaway side characters, or they were magical negroes and/or black characters with no wants or motivations of their own who solely exist to help white protagonist(s). I don't blame him for getting behind the casting of Elba. I can't imagine the backlash he'd receive if he boo-hooed the Elba casting. Maybe he truly doesn't care, and kudos to Mr. King if he doesn't.

As for many of the other constant readers who loathe the casting, some of it seems to come from just the fact that he's black, and although there are seemingly logical reasons given, the underlying tone is he's black and I want him to be white like I always imagined him to be. Some of you have said ANY of the other characters can be black, but Roland HAS to be white in order for the story to work, while others have laughably compared the casting of Elba as Roland (a fictional person whose race has nothing to do with character-personality-mannerisms) to a white actor playing Martin Luther King or Malcolm X (two real life black men whose work centered on them being black in America). I know this is not anyone's intentions, but it comes off in a way that reminds me of a saying - all you see is a black man, instead of a man that just happens to be black. That means that although Elba could do an incredible job as Roland, perfectly picking up all of his mannerisms and character traits from the book, the fact that he is not white will overtake any great performance he may bring to the screen.

Of course, the biggest reason brought up for why he should remain white is the character of Detta. Detta has to be able to call them all some "honky mahfahs" to add some conflict to the group and character for Susannah, but how can she do that without Roland being white, right? *sigh*...I absolutely hate the character/personality of Detta Walker. She's just a jive talking, sex-crazed, incredibly racist caricature of a black woman. There is absolutely NO WAY the filmmakers were going to keep that the same no matter who they cast as Roland or what kind of growth as a character she has throughout the book. I saw her character as problematic years ago when reading, and I will not be sad to see that personality gone (or at least dialed down a lot of notches).

--- I say all that to say this, I also would have loved to see Roland being played by a white actor. It's been almost 10 years since I read the books, but reading those books was like a journey where you could almost feel you're a part of the ka-tet yourself, and when you envision the characters as looking a certain way, it can be jarring and, in a way, heartbreaking when the first real visual representation of what you imagined is nowhere to be seen on the screen. However, I am still going to go into the movie with an open mind. The race change is nothing compared to other changes that may happen.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you on some of the points you are making. Though I don't think we are getting the adaption that most of us would have liked and hoped for... I can't deny that I am excited to see the movie. I love Idris Elba. I have seen just about everything he has been in. I also love MM and think he will be great as the MiB.

As a screenwriter myself, I can tell you this... I do my best to write characters that have no blatant ethnic identity unless it is absolutely necessary. In an autobiographical script I wrote about a very difficult part of my life, I changed my own character's ethnicity to be hispanic because I was trying to distance myself from that main character in order to be more truthful about the journey - if the makes any sense. But every one else are pretty much the ethnicities that they are in real life because it is a true story so that also made sense. My point is that I believe that a well written character should transcend race and ethnicity and should allow any reader to identify with them. In other words, the best characters are the ones we can latch onto and say "I get this character...I am like this character" in some way.

I have said this before, and I hate to beat a dead horse...but my only real issue with this whole casting debacle is that it ruins the continuity that has been set for over 30 years for this IP. SK defined the race of his characters in the books when he wrote them, then solidified that definition when working with artists such as Michael Whelan throughout the series. Again when the comic book series under Marvel was produced. So why change it now? Why suddenly say you are OK with this change when you clearly had a vision for this world and characters in two very long running iterations of it already? Imagine if they suddenly recast Luke as an Asian guy in the new SW series and just told fans - "Ignore the books, comics, video games and even the original movies cause we are just doing our own thing."

Like I said, I can't wait to see the movie. I love Idris and I am willing to ignore what I know about the DT series so that I can enjoy a new take on the material from these filmmakers. Hopefully it will be a decent movie so that we can get a few more.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
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...I can't "like" Thomas's comments because there's more than a whiff of implied racism, not only on King's part-but also on the Constant Readers....I know not your ethnicity Thomas-and truly I don't care-but that is a subject you need tread VERY lightly with....my protest against Elba originally was as many have said-he does not match the character in skin or eye color-simple as that....Roland was written as a weathered white man with "bombardier blue eyes"....that's what I didn't like....I have finally come to terms as to just watching the movie as just that, entertainment, instead of a faithful re-telling......
 

mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
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So the thrust of this is that everyone else's intent,whether overt or hidden,is that they are somehow racist,and though you agree with their basic idea on the casting,your motives are nobler or better?
5387f8294277fe629aa65a2ce16540c3ebd3d865facfc3ff4fab54af201f4dde.jpg
 

ThomasWinter

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Jun 2, 2017
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...I can't "like" Thomas's comments because there's more than a whiff of implied racism, not only on King's part-but also on the Constant Readers....I know not your ethnicity Thomas-and truly I don't care-but that is a subject you need tread VERY lightly with....my protest against Elba originally was as many have said-he does not match the character in skin or eye color-simple as that....Roland was written as a weathered white man with "bombardier blue eyes"....that's what I didn't like....I have finally come to terms as to just watching the movie as just that, entertainment, instead of a faithful re-telling......

Actually, on King's part, I'm not implying racism at all, it's more of an implied...hmm...I would guess the best word to use would be ignorance, but that seems very aggressive. I love many of King's books, but some of his black characters, especially in his earlier works, have a way of sounding as if they're written by someone who doesn't really know black people outside of what he or she may see on tv shows or in the news, which wouldn't be a surprise with King being from Maine and all. If King were to say that he hated the casting of Roland, I, being a big King fan, would assume that it likely comes from a place of how he always saw his beloved Roland character, and not because he's some big racist, which is what I'd guess a number of non-King fans would assume today. If I could rewind time, I'd omit the "kudos to Mr. King if he truly doesn't care" from my previous post.

As far as some of the constant readers go, yes, I did think some (not all) of the statements came off as a tad racist, even if that was not the intent. When I see the absolutely absurd comparison of Elba being cast as Roland to DiCaprio being as Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, it's difficult to think of it as anything but (not to mention that Michael Fassbender would be a much better option as Malcolm X than DiCaprio would).

Also, some of the posts saying they'd accept any other white character as black comes off as questionable, although I'm sure there would also be some outrage if Eddie was changed and not Roland. Someone posted they wouldn't have a problem if Larry Underwood in The Stand was changed. Would there be a problem if Stu was changed instead? What if the Torrance family in The Shining was changed? My point would be that, outside of Detta, whom I loathe, none of the characters' personalities are defined by what race they are, and Detta's conflict with them can be easily changed to something else (her being a survivor of abuse or assault, which caused her to not trust any man, for instance).

--- I'm not saying everyone that is outraged about Roland being black is racist, I'm only saying that's how it comes off in SOME of these posts to me, not all of them.
 
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mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
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If this is in regards to my post, I never said everyone else.
Well,good..because it takes some chutzpah to read a thread in this board,and make assumptions about peoples makeup,intent,how they think based on a post..I for one like the idea of making a movie as the book is written,and big shock,when you do many come off well.The idea of just throwing basic premises of movies out the window,and going with it,hasn't gone so good with a lot of movies.But,I guess artistic license is more important so the director,or whoever responsible for the final product,gets to make their statement about the work..nonsense to me,but usually when people stay away in droves,it tells you that maybe people want to see a faithful adaptation..
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
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Well,good..because it takes some chutzpah to read a thread in this board,and make assumptions about peoples makeup,intent,how they think based on a post..I for one like the idea of making a movie as the book is written,and big shock,when you do many come off well.The idea of just throwing basic premises of movies out the window,and going with it,hasn't gone so good with a lot of movies.But,I guess artistic license is more important so the director,or whoever responsible for the final product,gets to make their statement about the work..nonsense to me,but usually when people stay away in droves,it tells you that maybe people want to see a faithful adaptation..
....yar bugger!....
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Idris Elba is a great actor, but he is no more right for the part of Roland than Scarlett Johansson was right for the part in the recent "Ghost in the Shell" or Joseph Fiennes cast as Michael Jackson in a recent debacle. Being a good actor or being a current hot property doesn't make someone an automatic fit.
 

Anduan Pirate Princess

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Oct 13, 2015
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Well,good..because it takes some chutzpah to read a thread in this board,and make assumptions about peoples makeup,intent,how they think based on a post..I for one like the idea of making a movie as the book is written,and big shock,when you do many come off well.The idea of just throwing basic premises of movies out the window,and going with it,hasn't gone so good with a lot of movies.But,I guess artistic license is more important so the director,or whoever responsible for the final product,gets to make their statement about the work..nonsense to me,but usually when people stay away in droves,it tells you that maybe people want to see a faithful adaptation..
Ha, "chutzpah" is one word for it...especially for one's first post...
 
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ThomasWinter

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Jun 2, 2017
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,but usually when people stay away in droves,it tells you that maybe people want to see a faithful adaptation..

It can also mean that the movie just isn't very good. Many of the movies with changes to the source material get bad to mediocre ratings, and then people who have no idea about the source material (who greatly outnumber the people that do) also stay away. However, there are some movies with changes to the source material that do reach critical and/or financial success.

In my youth I was a big comic book fan, and I used to be outraged about changes to characters (how dare Wolverine not be short!!) and storylines for the movies, but then many of them just continued getting critical praise and financial success. Now, I just more or less roll with it and understand even if changes are made, the movie could still be good.


An example of movie that changed A LOT from the source material and was still great, in my opinion, is All You Need is Kill (Edge of Tomorrow is the film name). The lead character was changed from a teenage Asian to a 50 year old white man. Many times changes do work. They aren't all critical failures.
 

Dana Jean

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It can also mean that the movie just isn't very good. Many of the movies with changes to the source material get bad to mediocre ratings, and then people who have no idea about the source material (who greatly outnumber the people that do) also stay away. However, there are some movies with changes to the source material that do reach critical and/or financial success.

In my youth I was a big comic book fan, and I used to be outraged about changes to characters (how dare Wolverine not be short!!) and storylines for the movies, but then many of them just continued getting critical praise and financial success. Now, I just more or less roll with it and understand even if changes are made, the movie could still be good.


An example of movie that changed A LOT from the source material and was still great, in my opinion, is All You Need is Kill (Edge of Tomorrow is the film name). The lead character was changed from a teenage Asian to a 50 year old white man. Many times changes do work. They aren't all critical failures.
Forrest Gump another example. Eric Roth took a horrible book by Winston Groom and made it the fun fabulous movie we saw on the big screen.
 

Blake

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Feb 18, 2013
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So I typed into google: 'How tall is Stephen King" and the answer was 1.93m which is 6 foot and 3 inches which is incorrect.
Then I typed in : how tall is Idris Elba and got 1.9 meters which is 6 foot 2 inches, now Roland was based on 'The Man with no name' so he should be 6 foot 5 inches.
Now I typed in: how tall is Tom Cruise? Answer: 1.7m which is 5 foot 5, but Jack Reacher is 6 foot 5. So height has nothing to do with who plays a character. Colour of skin shouldn't either unless it totally ruins the storyline or makes the story ridiculous. I would have reversed the roles and have Elba as Walter and McConaughey as Roland.
 
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