EXCLUSIVE: Two weeks into the start of shooting in South Africa, The Dark Tower is beefing up its cast with the addition of Michael Barbieri, I’ve learned. Reps for the 14-year-old are deep in talks to have him join the highly anticipated Nikolaj Arcel-directed adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling series, set to come out on Presidents Day weekend next year.

darktower_20110513200815_20110718230646Having starred as the co-lead in Ira Sachs’ Sundance-premiering Little Men, Barbieri is slated to play the role of Timmy in the Idris Elba– and Matthew McConaughey-led Dark Tower. Showing up in The Waste Lands book from 1992, the character is an offbeat pal to the Jake Chambers character, to be played by Tom Taylor. As fans of King’s series know, Jake is the protégé of gunslinger Roland Deschain, to be played by Golden Globe winner Elba. Oscar winner McConaughey portrays baddie the Man in Black in the film, which is based on the first book in King’s series.

With Sony handling distribution for what is expected to be the first in a series of Dark Tower movies, a complementary TV series is also being developed on a parallel track by Media Rights Capital. Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins are producing the Dark Tower movie. Stephen King is also a producer on the pic.

Barbieri is repped by WME and 3 Arts Entertainment.