Venture into any given Stephen King novel, and at some point you’ll find a secret passage into another.
“All of the books kind of relate to other ones,” King said in a 2013 interview. “I guess it’s sort of like Stephen King World, the malevolent version of Disney World, where everything fits together.”
Sometimes it’s just a familiar name or place, or the off-handed reference of an event from another story. Other times, lead characters from one book have cameos in another.
In the new film version of The Dark Tower, opening Aug. 4, director Nikolaj Arcel said he wanted to honor this tradition by packing as many King references into the background as possible.
“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,” the filmmaker told EW during our set visit last summer. “I wanted to have that same feeling.”
But mixing dimensions is easy compared to acquiring film rights from competing studios, so he had a difficult road of clearances ahead. But … he did it.
“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.”
In the video above, you can see just a few of the references that will be in the movie. Click here for a frame-by-frame analysis of what is what, and who is who from Stephen King World.
And remember the cautionary words of the author himself: “If there was a Stephen King World, people would only go on the rides … once.”