The Dark Tower: The South African Connection

The Dark Tower opening in South Africa on 8 September 2017, features power-packed performances from Idris Elba and Mathew McConaughey, as well as, several talented South African actors.

Sony Pictures Releasing International confirmed that “Part of the film was shot on location in South Africa, which offered unique landscapes and awe-inspiring forests for the alternate dimension.

The production took the company to such remote places as the barren Karoo desert, where they built the Mid-World sets. To add a further layer of a parallel universe, the company moved to the Cederberg mountain range, where the protected nature reserve features dramatic caves and characteristic red rocks.”


Said production designer Christopher Glass, “Mid-World is a sort of a wasteland, yet not quite. There are a lot of remnants of an ancient civilization that are scattered around this place; weirdly, the civilization is a future civilization that has now become ancient.  In South Africa, we found otherworldly deserts – it was almost like being on Mars. The horizon just kept going; I’ve never seen anything like that before. I think that there’s a romance and a certain sense of adventure that goes into filming in Africa.”

Other South African locations used included a wine farm area just outside Cape Town, where filmmakers built a village and an abandoned shopping mall in Cape Town, which was transformed into a seedy Bar for a key sequence in the film. 

Over 30 local actors got the opportunity to showcase their talents alongside their Hollywood counterparts.  These included Leeanda Reddy, Lemogang Tshipa, Mary Twala and Robert Whitehead, amongst others. 

Whilst not a direct adaptation of the books, the movie serves to introduce the main characters to a broad audience in a thrilling, action-packed adventure.


There are other worlds than these. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world’s most celebrated authors, makes its launch to the big screen.  The last Knight Warrior, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew 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.


Columbia Pictures and MRC present in association with Imagine Entertainment a Weed Road production, The Dark Tower. Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, and Jackie Earle Haley. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel. Produced by Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, and Erica Huggins. Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen & Nikolaj Arcel. Based on the novels by Stephen King. Executive Producers are G. Mac Brown and Jeff Pinkner. Director of Photography is Rasmus Videbaek. Production Designer is Christopher Glass. Editors are Alan Edward Bell, ACE and Dan Zimmerman, ACE. Costume Designer is Trish Summerville. Music by Tom Holkenborg.

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