A film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series seemed like an impossibility, but after years of development under producer Ron Howard, King’s epic fantasy-western-sci-fi story is heading to the big screen. Interestingly enough, the first actor reportedly being eyed for a leading role was also previously rumored for another major King adaptation: Matthew McConaughey.

McConaughey was rumored last year for a role in Josh Boone’s adaptation of The Stand, and while that prospect never materialized, the actor is reportedly being considered for a lead role in The Dark Tower, the first film in what Sony hopes to translate into a major franchise.

Here’s where it gets confusing: The Wrap reports that McConaughey is being offered the role of protagonist Roland Deschain, the last of the mythical line of heroic gunslingers. But Variety reports that McConaughey is being eyed for the role of the series’ villain, The Man in Black, an elusive and enigmatic character who goes by many names, including Walter Padick and Walter O’Dim — Roland’s enemy also happens to be the mysterious villain in The Stand, who operates under the name Randall Flagg.

The actor has reportedly been sent the screenplay, which was originally written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. Director Nikolaj Arcel recently revised the script with his partner Anders Thomas Jensen.

It’s possible that McConaughey has been offered either role — on the surface, his natural southern charms seem like a good fit for Roland, a western-style hero who crosses the vast wastelands in pursuit of a nefarious sorcerer. But the actor would probably be better suited to play against type as The Man in Black, using some of that patented charisma in an unexpected and sinister way.

The Dark Tower heads into production next year for a January 13, 2017 release.

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