The Dark Tower casts the crucial character of Jake Chambers

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Mar 10, 2016, 4:33 PM EST

One of the most important characters in Stephen King's The Dark Tower has been cast.

Sources have confirmed to EW that relatively unknown actor Tom Taylor has been cast as Jake Chambers, a member of the ka-tet of Roland (Idris Elba) and a boy who becomes a surrogate son for the gunslinger. Taylor's most high-profile job before this was playing the younger version of Sean Bean's character on the TNT series Legends, which is now defunct. His other credits include Doctor Foster and The Last Kingdom.

Spoilers ahead for those of you who have not read King's books, so stop here if you want to go into this movie cold.


Jake and Roland have a very complicated relationship that spans two worlds and alternate timelines. Roland first encounters Jake in the first Dark Tower book, The Gunslinger, after Jake is killed in our reality and finds himself in Mid-World, the universe where Roland lives. But Roland must also allow Jake to die while in pursuit of the Man in Black -- a sacrifice that haunts Roland's conscience.

Even worse, through a series of events that change the course of time and history (chronicled in Book Two, The Drawing of the  Three, and Book Three, The Waste Lands), Jake becomes alive again in our world. Holding the knowledge of both timelines in their heads begins to drive him and Roland insane. With the help of ka-tet member Eddie Dean, the pair eventually solve the paradox and Jake once again enters Mid-World, where he stays for the duration of the next four books (he's also master of the beloved billy-bumbler and ka-tet mascot, Oy).

Jake is the first member of Roland's ka-tet that we meet and arguably, as someone who becomes like a son to Roland, perhaps the most crucial in that he slowly brings out Roland's humanity again. We can only hope that director Nikolaj Arcel and the film's producers have seen something special in Taylor.

What's more confusing at this point is exactly how Jake's story will be told in the movie. Since we keep hearing that the film will combine elements of the first three books (especially the first two), there's a good chance we'll see Jake's death and resurrection play out in some form.

The Dark Tower also stars Matthew McConaughey as Walter, the Man in Black, while the roles of Susannah and Eddie Dean have yet to be officially cast despite reports about the latter. The Dark Tower is due out in theaters Feb. 17, 2017.