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In 2008 you turned down a reported $15 million to star in a big-screen reboot of the TV series Magnum P.I., an intended franchise. More recently, you’ve been offered major superhero parts including the lead in* Doctor Strange* and the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. There was talk of you playing beach-bum detective Travis McGee in The Deep Blue Good-By, meant to be a big-screen adaptation based on John D. MacDonald’s novels. But you’ve stepped up to The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s series of novels, in which you play a sharply dressed destroyer of worlds.

I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was “It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor.” I’d feel like an amendment. The Dark Tower script was well written, I like the director and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black—a.k.a. the Devil—in my version of this Stephen King novel. We’ve done the first one. It’s a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe, but it’s very much grounded. For instance, the gunslinger’s weapon isn’t a lightsaber or something; it’s a pistol. I enjoyed approaching my character as if I were the Devil having a good time, getting turned on by exposing human hypocrisies wherever he finds them.

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