The following does not contain spoilers for specific plot points in Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ books. It does, however, contain a spoiler for the type of thing that happens in the series. It may or may not contain spoilers for the upcoming ‘The Dark Tower’ movie or future sequels. Who the hell really knows? If you want to go in completely fresh, you’ll want to skip this.
‘The Dark Tower’ is Stephen King’s dark fantasy epic that unites all of King’s works in a shared multiverse. On his quest for the tower, the Gunslinger travels through portals between worlds. King has worked on ‘The Dark Tower’ series since 1982 and careful readers will notice many books in his catalog since, whether they are branded as ‘Dark Tower’ books or not, have easter eggs and subtle ties to the Tower. Even more ambitious, the worlds the Gunslinger visits show signs that the multiverse he inhabits is shared not only by what comes from King’s imagination but by all the universes ever depicted in fiction.
‘The Dark Tower’ books focus their fictional crossovers primarily on other literature. ‘The Dark Tower’ movies and TV show, if successful, could likewise match media and open the door to all manner of interesting cameos. Let’s explore some possibilities.
Pennywise the Clown
It’s almost a sure thing that ‘The Dark Tower’ will feature some element of King’s horror classic ‘It.’ The trailer depicts one of the film’s protagonists, Jake, walking up to an abandoned circus sign that clearly says ‘Pennywise,’ complete with trademark balloons nearby. Here’s the rub: there is an ‘It’ film coming out this year by a different production company. I imagine there are conflicts using the character here. Sony is behind ‘The Dark Tower’ and has been able to work with others as evident with Spider-Man, but I’m afraid the sign may be all we get.
I’m hoping HBO can lend a character in the sake of mutual fandom. How awesome would it be to see the most popular modern fantasy epic linked to King’s multiverse? There is a very real evil represented throughout the series, with Matthew McConaughey’s man in black at the center. If the initial film does well enough to merit sequels, Iwan Rheon reprising his role of Ramsay Bolton would fit right in. Yes, he died in ‘Game of Thrones,’ but that just means that he’s free from HBO obligations. Death works a little differently around ‘The Dark Tower.’
A Flying Monkey or Something
‘The Wizard of Oz’ is a classic of fantasy. It depicts a world of magic with more than a little darkness. It’s an ideal fit for the Dark Tower. A direct reference might be too much and hard to pull off considering the original cast is no longer available. However, revamping Oz’s flying monkeys with the realism of the recent ‘Planet of the Apes’ films would look awesome on screen.
There is a point in ‘The Dark Tower’ books where the Gunslinger and company visit a post-apocalyptic world. There are many places this could be in movie history, but both the most classic and most modern include zombies. The world of ‘The Walking Dead’ or ‘28 Days Later’ would be great, but Sony would probably go with a franchise they have pre-existing ties to, such as ‘Resident Evil.’
Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding
‘Shawshank Redemption’ is perhaps King’s most iconic film adaptation. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures which is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group making this entry a real possibility. There is a character from one of King’s other books, ‘Salems Lot,’ who plays a substantial role in a later ‘Dark Tower’ book. That role could be moved to Andy’s jailyard friend ‘Red,’ played by Morgan Freeman. It would provide the ‘wow’ moment of how these worlds interconnect seeing an actor like Freeman reprise such a powerful role.
Sony Pictures helped make the last ‘Ghostbusters’ film making it a contender. The reason to avoid this connection is that the world of the Ghostbusters is a world of comedy, a concept disconnected from ‘The Dark Tower.’ Still, a used ghost trap in the background wouldn’t hurt.
A cross-over turned cross-promotion would be a reference to Jumanji. Sony Pictures will be releasing ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ later this year making any reference to it feel like a money grab. That said, the original Jumanji is kinda perfect. The board game is a magic item of great power that it used as a portal between worlds. It’s basically an extension of the Tower. How else could ‘The Dark Tower’ tie the multiverse of fiction together? Let us know in the comments.
How else could ‘The Dark Tower’ tie the multiverse of fiction together? Let us know in the comments.