Following the release of the first official images from the film, Matthew McConaughey spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his approach to "The Dark Tower's" Man in Black. According to the "True Detective" star, the film's version of the Man in Black will be very human -- but very much like the Devil, as well.
“Well, he is a man, actually,” McConaughey explained. “They wanted to go very human and grounded with this. Obviously there are mythical proportions of good and evil in Walter [the Man in Black]. But we didn’t want to go overly fantastic. That would drop the humanity. So Walter, for me, is a man who exposes hypocrisies.”
“You know, he’s not literally the Devil, but I sure as hell think about him like the Devil. I think like the Devil would,” he added.
As to the Man in Black's relationship with the Gunslinger, McConaughey said, “I revere him. He’s really the only true adversary I have. I expose hypocrisies, and he’s the closest to pure there is. It’s his persistent, resilience to be good and altruistic. He’s very precious to me. I almost don’t want to see him go.”
“So many times I’m just pumping him up, through sorcery, almost like the man in the corner of the ring for a boxer,” he continued. “’Come on … you can do this … stay in the game,’ because I want to keep him, I want to keep his vengeance to find me. I want to keep that very vital, you know? My want, my need, my mission is to bring down the Tower. My love, my adoration, my muse, my shadow, is Roland.”
McConaughey went on to explain just why the Man in Black is so eager to meet the Gunslinger again: he's bored. "I’m at home base, Breaker Central, doing the daily ritual of choosing the children and running the break,” he shared. “And we’ve been doing this for some time now, but we haven’t been able to bring down this Tower. We’ve shook the dust off it quite a bit, thrown a few boulders but haven’t found the right all-star with the shine to actually bring it down. So we go through the daily ritual of chopping down this proverbial tree.”
However, news of a boy named Jake (Tom Taylor) -- who possesses the power of The Shine, which can break down the trans-dimensional beams holding the Tower in place -- will bring the Man in Black to our world, and the Man in Black couldn't be more delighted. “This is great news!” McConaughey said. “One, this is what I need to get the job done. Two, it’s a field trip for me. I haven’t been down there in a long time. The Devil likes New York. Let’s go sing and dance and do some detective work and find the boy with The Shine and bring him back and use him!”
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel from a screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner, the movie isn’t directly adapted from King’s 1982 novel “The Gunslinger,” but rather, in the author’s words, it begins “in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning.”
Opening Feb. 17, 2017, “The Dark Tower” also stars Abbey Lee, Katheryn Winnick, Tom Taylor, Fran Kranz, Claudia Kim and Jackie Earle Haley.