One of the earliest trailers for the highly-anticipated The Dark Tower film included a couple of subtle references to other works by Stephen King, with only the eagle-eyed viewer being able to identify them. The newest teaser, which you can watch above, decided to ditch subtlety and go all-in on pointing out that The Dark Tower plays a vital role in the interconnected worlds of the author.
With the vastness of King's books, the author has often interjected small references to other characters and locations as treats for die-hard readers, a tradition that Dark Tower filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel aimed to continue.
During a set visit by Entertainment Weekly, the filmmaker explained, "As one of his ‘Constant Readers,’ one of the things I found so much pleasure in was the fact that when I read one novel and I read the next one, there was the same town, there was the same character, or there was Castle Rock. It blew my mind.” He added, “I wanted to have that same feeling.”
Arcel continued, "I wanted Paul Sheldon’s book Misery’s Child in one of the shots. I wanted one of the old haunted places to be Pennywise’s house. And I got all that. It’s just like a dream come true for me, mixing every single thing. Cujo’s going to walk by. It’s just fun."
King himself has described these connections in a 2013 interview, noting, "I guess it’s sort of like Stephen King World, the malevolent version of Disney World, where everything fits together.”
Scroll down to identify more of the references from the new teaser!
In the Stephen King novel, a family travels to a remote hotel in Colorado to act as caretakers during the off-season. The family gets far more than they asked for when spirits begin to show themselves to members of the family, which, in addition to the remoteness of the hotel, causes the father to descend into madness.
Previously seen in an earlier trailer for The Dark Tower, a photograph of the hotel from the novel can be seen in a therapist's office. Although it could appear to be virtually any hotel, the photo actually shows the hotel featured in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of the film, making it a much more direct reference.prevnext
One scene in the trailer shows Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) wandering through the ruins of an abandoned amusement park. The main entrance sign for the park still remains, with the name "PENNYWISE" emblazoned across the fallen arches.
In It, a group of young kids is terrorized by the visage of an evil clown, who reveals his name to be Pennywise. The kids aim to combat this presence, thinking it could be merely a nefarious person, only to reveal there is a much bigger supernatural element at play. Decades after they believe to have defeated the entity, they reconvene as adults to take on the clown, who has reemerged after years of hiding.
For those looking to get more Pennywise, you can see him in the newest adaptation of It, landing in theaters September 8.prevnext
The Shawshank Redemption
In King's short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne is sent to prison for the double murder of his wife and her lover to serve consecutive life sentences. The novella chronicles the experiences he has as an inmate over the years, regularly being rejected for parole. Dufresne takes matters into his own hands and spends years burrowing through his prison cell with a small hammer, eventually finding his way to freedom.
Considering how long it took Dufresne to achieve freedom, he had to keep his work secret from Shawshank's guards. To hide the hole in his cell, he covers it with a poster of Rita Hayworth, who Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) also encounters in the Dark Tower teaser.prevnext
In King's novel, a high school student purchases a car that he fixes up into incredible condition, giving him a strange confidence that he had never quite found. When bullies severely damage the car, the automobile mysteriously fixes itself and, in the middle of the night, leaves the garage on its own accord to hunt down the bullies that attacked it. The car's origins are eventually revealed and the high school student gets much more than he bargained for with the car he nicknamed "Christine."
In the book, the car was a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which a child can be seen playing with in the Dark Tower trailer.prevnext
The Dark Tower
With the film not being a direct adaptation of any specific book in the series and serving somewhat as a sequel to the original books, of course there will be references to the original story's mythology.
In the world of the Dark Tower, individuals with telekinetic powers, similar to those seen in The Shining, serve the Man in Black and use their powers in hopes of bringing down the tower and forcing different realities to collide. These individuals, known as "Breakers," all carry high-tech watches, as seen being worn by the girl in the trailer.
Additionally, the book often uses the number "19" to foreshadow ominous events, which is why audiences see the number scrawled on the ground in chalk.prevnext
The Shining (Pt. 2)
In a village full of Breakers, run by the Man in Black, audiences are treated to a glimpse of twin girls.
In The Shining, the daughters of a former caretaker of the Overlook Hotel were murdered by their father, with their spirits still residing within the walls of the resort. The two girls tempt the young boy to "play with them," further terrifying the child.
Addressed in both the film and the novel, the young girls of the caretakers weren't actually twins, but Kubrick found the image of two young blonde girls standing in a hallway to be incredibly effective, opting for the identical siblings. The twins featured in the teaser don't look like the girls in the movie, but Arcel reportedly included them as a sly reference to the film.prevnext
Mr. Mercedes tells the tale of a killer who intentionally plowed his car into a group of people standing in line for a job fair, killing eight and seriously injuring many more. The identity of the individual is never discovered, until someone reaches out to a retired detective who could never solve the case, who takes responsibility for the terrible deeds.
Throughout the course of the story, the killer taunts the detective with notes and other forms of communication using smiley faces, much like the one spotted in the trailer.
Debuting later this summer will be a live-action adaptation of Mr. Mercedes, airing on AT&T's Audience Network.prevnext
Of the many books seen in the Man in Black's library is Misery's Child, an installment in a fictional series of romance novels that served as the inspiration for Misery.
In that story, an author who is famous for his romance novels crashes his car on a remote and snowy road, eventually being rescued by a woman who happens to be a fan of his work. While helping nurse the author back to health, the fan reads his latest novel, in which the main character carries out some terrible acts. Unhappy with the fate of her favorite character, the fan turns to violence and torture to keep the author there until he finishes writing a new installment in the series.prevnext
One of King's more traditional tales of the supernatural, 1408 chronicles an author whose goal it is to debunk supposed hauntings in various locations. When he hears of a hotel room that is supposedly so haunted that no one stays in it for more than an hour, the author takes it upon himself to find the root of the mysterious occurrences. The author's decision to stay in room 1408 will prove to be the biggest mistake he's ever made, falling victim to his worst nightmares being realized.0comments
In the teaser, the number "1408" appears above the doorway that connects dimensions, possibly revealing more information on just what, or who, is responsible for the events of 1408.
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