IDRIS ELBA, YES YES YES

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The Red Queen

Active Member
Feb 4, 2007
33
21
Montreal, Quebec
I have not posted on this forum in YEARS, but I have to stick my nose in just this once. Yes, I think Idris Elba will be great in the role as Roland. I could argue that everyone is being racist, he is an amazing actor, blah blah blah, but here is my real reasoning...


Point #1: When has Hollywood ever cared if the actor playing a part is the same race as the character? Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra, Johnny Deep played Tonto, Keanu Reeves played Buddha… shall I bother to list how many white guys played Jesus Christ? **Unless you actually believe that Jesus looked like one of the BeeGees; if so, never mind.

Does an actor have to be white to play Hamlet? If your answer is "no" , then think about it. As long as an actor can make us feel the character and who he is, who cares what race he or she is?


Point #2: SHOULD the movie be 100% faithful to the novel? Sure, you can nitpick the plot and the physical description of Roland from the book, but I have to ask, why bother? A movie will never carry the entire story as presented in a novel, so some things will inevitably need to be changed. And if you have to change it, at least give the film makers some creative freedom to do something different. If I want the exact story in the novels, I will just read the novels. I actually prefer to have creative changes when a book is adapted for the big (or small) screen. Then the story becomes new for me again.


The Walking Dead series is a good example of this creative freedom. I read the comic books years ago, and with the TV version they made many changes. Other than just fleshing out the story and adding new characters (Daryl anyone?), original characters are picked up or knocked off at different times than the original comics, which keeps the series interesting. Shane was still running around in season two (drove me CRAZY!), and when Sophia DIED in season two I almost cried! I still have the thrill and tension of knowing anyone could go at any time, and that keeps me watching.

Point #3: Call me crazy, but I like to see something different. Looking forward to it.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
60,548
234,768
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I have not posted on this forum in YEARS, but I have to stick my nose in just this once. Yes, I think Idris Elba will be great in the role as Roland. I could argue that everyone is being racist, he is an amazing actor, blah blah blah, but here is my real reasoning...


Point #1: When has Hollywood ever cared if the actor playing a part is the same race as the character? Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra, Johnny Deep played Tonto, Keanu Reeves played Buddha… shall I bother to list how many white guys played Jesus Christ? **Unless you actually believe that Jesus looked like one of the BeeGees; if so, never mind.

Does an actor have to be white to play Hamlet? If your answer is "no" , then think about it. As long as an actor can make us feel the character and who he is, who cares what race he or she is?


Point #2: SHOULD the movie be 100% faithful to the novel? Sure, you can nitpick the plot and the physical description of Roland from the book, but I have to ask, why bother? A movie will never carry the entire story as presented in a novel, so some things will inevitably need to be changed. And if you have to change it, at least give the film makers some creative freedom to do something different. If I want the exact story in the novels, I will just read the novels. I actually prefer to have creative changes when a book is adapted for the big (or small) screen. Then the story becomes new for me again.


The Walking Dead series is a good example of this creative freedom. I read the comic books years ago, and with the TV version they made many changes. Other than just fleshing out the story and adding new characters (Daryl anyone?), original characters are picked up or knocked off at different times than the original comics, which keeps the series interesting. Shane was still running around in season two (drove me CRAZY!), and when Sophia DIED in season two I almost cried! I still have the thrill and tension of knowing anyone could go at any time, and that keeps me watching.

Point #3: Call me crazy, but I like to see something different. Looking forward to it.
From what I have seen of him, he does have a lot of sex appeal. Can he play a cowboy and/or gunslinger? I hope so!

 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
60,548
234,768
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Cause that is what Roland is known for? :chargrined:

Hollywood. blech.
Elba played Mandela - I don't know if he did a good job or not. To be honest I have only seen him singing in a couple of music videos as a guest artist.

Call me a Pollyanna or a hopeless romantic - I just hope that he can get it right.

Time will tell, I guess.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
60,548
234,768
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Hi Communist Regent! You make some good points. I'd still like to see someone 'more Clint Eastwoody' in the role of Roland. I hope that doesn't make me racist. I'm sure Idris will do just fine though. All the best, mal.
I know - was hoping Clint's son could do it - but looks like he is more into the male modeling career than anything.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
Roland is not a cowboy. :subdued:
Yeah. I think the closest he has ever come to that was the time he was counting things like horses and other stock by the Clean Sea. :D Gunslinger, check. Cowboy or cowpoke, negative. Although, in fairness, I think most people use the term cowboy to refer to any Old West character type these days. I'm more particular, like yourself.

Do I think Elba will play an ok, intimidating Gunslinger? Sure. Do I think he will make me think of Roland? No. I don't think he will ever have the chance. I don't see how this script can produce the Roland we know. This will be a guy named Roland who is awesome on the draw. I can't blame the actor for a depth he will never get to swim.
 
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SHEEMIEE

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2010
1,315
5,538

Patricia A

ReMember
Jul 10, 2006
12,887
13,843
59
Puget Sound
Yes, yes, yes! Elba is going to rock Roland. I had no idea who he was until it was announced that he got the part. I went on the hunt to watch things he's done and I can see it. He's perfect and wonderfully unexpected.
I'm really happy that Stephen King has final approval of all of the main characters.
 

Robert Gray

Well-Known Member
He plays a good tiger in jungle book - buuut he would have been an even better panther. Isn't that the argument??
That isn't my argument, no.

Anyhoo looks like we can all stop bashing the traditional white Marlboro man image we have of Roland D- because I found this snippet about the first script ...
I have never seen Roland as any iteration of the Marlboro Man. Even so, that snippet, if correct, indicates the film doesn't hold any interest for me. I'm not interested in the Director's "fan fiction" as to the next turn on the wheel where he has redefined the characters to fit his notions of cinematic plot. Before I see an re-imagination of the story, I'd like to see the story as written first. Call me old fashioned. My chief complaint is the overall, EXTENSIVE changes from the book to the screen. I consider Roland's skin tone minor compared to the other changes which are already annoyingly apparent. To get all biblical, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" I very much feel like the essence (soul if you will) of this story has been lost simply to gain the setting (world) on film. To me, it isn't worth it. Pale imitations are never satisfying.

All that being said, I've not seen the film yet. I suppose the Director might achieve the impossible. I won't be rushing out to see it, but if enough people here whose opinion I trust say it is great and does the book proud, I will eventually go. Let's just say I don't expect to be going. :D So, no this isn't really a discussion of an actor's skin color, although that is one of the more obvious changes which serves as an emblem for all the others. In other words, it is the only change that we know for a fact so far, since everything else is conjecture.
 
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Mar 12, 2010
6,538
29,001
Texas
This might sound really off the wall, but I could totally go for Danny Trejo as Roland. Slap some blue contact lenses on that bad boy and he's ready to go. Or, if you have to have a white guy, my vote would be for Michael Rooker (yes, another Walking Dead reference).
While reading Mr Mercedes, I pictured Michael Rooker as Bill Hodges :) I think Elba is a great choice for Roland. I think he can portray the many faces of Roland better than most. If The Stand is ever remade, I'd love to see Danny Trejo play Flagg :)
 

Patricia A

ReMember
Jul 10, 2006
12,887
13,843
59
Puget Sound
Random addition: did anyone else remember that Michael Rooker played Alan Pangborn in the 1993 film adaptation of The Dark Half?
Did he get cast? He's was good in The Dark Half.
I checked IMDB. I didn't see him but they sure have plumped up the crew. McConaughey already has his own hair/makeup artist. ;-D
They cast Jackie Earle Haley as Sayre. Perfect.
The Dark Tower (2017) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb

Great to see you Red Queen!
 
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