Professional bad guy Jackie Earle Haley has signed on for a pair of notable villain roles in two high-profile, geek-friendly projects. According to Deadline, Haley has been cast as The Terror in Amazon’s reboot of The Tick, a character that is described as the show’s “epitome of the criminal mastermind” and a villain whose “will power and tenacity have powered an underworld syndicate for decades.” All of that is to say that there’s a very good chance we’ll see him get beat up by Peter Serafinowicz’s Tick, which will be a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Haley’s other new villain role is going to require some explanation, though. According to that same Deadline report, Haley will be playing an evil vampire named Sayre in director Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. This is a bit unusual, because the Sayre character doesn’t show up in King’s series until the fifth book (Wolves Of The Calla), meaning this movie is going to go way beyond what the first couple of books cover. This could be a way to streamline the series and make the movie more manageable for people who haven’t read the books, but it also runs the risk of skipping some important groundwork that those early entries set up.
For example, the first book (The Gunslinger) eases readers into its weird world with a relatively simple story about a cowboy chasing an evil wizard through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. By the final book, the series has thrown in multiple converging realities, characters from other Stephen King books, vampires (specifically the vampires from King’s Jerusalem’s Lot), a robot bear, kidnapped psychics (from other King books), 9/11, a suicidal train that loves riddles, and—last but not least—Stephen King himself. Given the inclusion of Sayre (and the character Abbey Lee is playing), that implies this movie is going to dive straight into some of that crazier stuff. Skipping a lot of the backstory would mean Arcel’s movie can get right into the larger quest, but hoping that audiences will instantly be on board with something that gets as bananas as the latter Dark Tower books would also be a huge gamble on Sony’s part—especially considering how much trouble it has had getting this movie made in the first place.
Of course, since the Dark Tower movie—which will star Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey—literally just started filming this week, it’s probably a too early to gauge just how ridiculous it’ll be. We’ll save that for when the first trailer drops.