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New ‘The Dark Tower’ Trailer Hints at Stephen King Cinematic Universe

Few authors are as prolific as Stephen King, especially when it comes to classic movies based on his novels. Some of his most beloved works are the books in the Dark Tower series and fans have been waiting for its adaptation for a long time. Finally, a movie is arriving in theaters next week. But The Dark Tower is not an adaptation so much as a continuation of the books. It’s also the start of a franchise that will continue on televison but also retroactively connects to past movie versions of King’s stories.

Sony has just released a new teaser trailer for The Dark Tower featuring computer-animated homages to those past movies, which are part of the “Connected KINGdom” franchise. Watch it here:

Here are the referenced movies:

The Shining: Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie (of which King isn’t a fan) is represented by little Danny’s tricycle and the hypnotic carpet and iconic elevator of the Overlook Hotel (yet also room #217, from the novel, instead of the movie’s room #237).

It: Although there was a TV miniseries adaptation of It back in the ’90s, there’s also a new movie version out a month after the release of The Dark Tower. This one is represented by the sewer, red balloon and graffiti stating: “The Turtle Can’t Help Us.”

Carrie: Three movies have been based on Carrie, including a 1976 adaptation that was the first movie ever made out of a King novel. The images of a gym-set prom in flames and a bucket of pig’s blood could be representing any of them.

The Shawshank Redemption: Based on the short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, the 1994 movie is represented with a prison cell, carved out bible, poster advertising Mexico and a hole in the wall.

The Stand: Also previously adapted as a miniseries in the ’90s, there is a feature adaptation in development.

Interestingly enough, there is no visual reference to Christine, which is also supposedly part of the Connected KINGdom. Of the six other installments of the franchise, only Christine, The Shawshank Redmption and the 2013 version of Carrie were, like The Dark Tower, put out by Sony companies. The Shining and the upcoming It and The Stand are all Warner Bros. releases.

The original trailer for the movie, seen above, included its own, less-direct Easter eggs referencing The Shining (a photo of the Overlook) and It (a carnival advertising the clown Pennywise), and we heard fromThe Dark Tower baddie Matthew McConaughey on his character crossing over into other King stories:

That is very much still something we’re open to discussing — [the] great thing about Walter is he shows up in these other different things. He’s everywhere. If this is a success, the opportunities are endless. I’d love to explore that.

On the page, other books that are tied to The Dark Tower include Misery (made into a 1990 movie released by Sony), Salem’s Lot (previously adapted for TV twice by Warner Bros.), Hearts in Atlantis (a 2001 movie released by Warner Bros.), Cujo (a 1983 movie released by Warner Bros.), The Dead Zone (a 1983 movie released by Paramount), Cell (a 2016 movie released by Saban Films) and Insomnia (never adapted).

The Dark Tower, which also stars Idris Elba as the Gunslinger, hits theaters on August 4.

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