Academy Award-winner Matthew McConaughey stars as Walter O’Dim aka The Man in Black, a modern day psychotic who destroyed the Mid-World, and is now on a mission to bring all worlds into chaos, in the big screen adaptation of the epic Stephen King novels, The Dark Tower (now showing in Philippine cinemas).
In the film, the last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
“The essence of the Man in Black character is a casual and playful but ruthless and terrifying villain, all while seemingly in total control,” producer Ron Howard says. “Matthew McConaughey is the perfect embodiment for the role of the Man in Black – he’s incredibly charming, laid back, and mischievous with deep intensity.”
“Walter has traveled many worlds, throughout many ages – he knows contemporary New York and where he can buy a burger, and at the same time, with his sphere of magic, he can also go to the court of some king,” says director Nikolaj Arcel. “His plan for the universe is to bring about the age of the Crimson King – the devil.”
“Walter’s not just a guy with one dimensional evil; he has an interesting way of seeing the world, with a certain delight – even if on the wrong side of the light and dark spectrum,” Arcel continues. “We had a lot of fun with the character and Matthew and I added a lot of layers that were very true to the book – how Walter speaks and moves.”
McConaughey was excited by the opportunity to bring such a dynamic character to life. “It’s an original – it was great that I could come in at the ground level and create a character, and hopefully be part of an original story where I am the author of the Man in Black.”
At the heart of the interplay between Walter and Roland is a dynamic that is both simple and complex. Ultimately, McConaughey says, “Walter is the quintessential bad guy in the mythic battle of good versus evil. If the Tower comes down, Walter takes the seat next to the Crimson King.”
But King has created a multilayered villain in Walter. “Walter walks a fine line with Roland; it’s an interesting little affection that Walter has for Roland,” says McConaughey. “He certainly doesn’t fully believe in Roland’s code of honor and valor and values. But Walter enjoys the game, and he doesn’t want it to end too soon, even if he wins. Roland is the most talented one out there, and when he’s down and losing it, through paranoia or pain, Walter resurrects him, lifts him up, so he stays in the game.”
Still, though Roland and Walter have been locked in this battle for an eternity, from McConaughey’s point of view, it’s been a one-sided battle. “Walter can’t be touched,” he says. “If someone comes at him, he may be a mirage – he might not even be what you think. He doesn’t even break a sweat.”
The Dark Tower is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.