CinemaCon 2017: Could The Dark Tower Be the Beginning of a Stephen King Cinematic Universe?

By Jonathan Barkan

At this year’s CinemaCon, Sony premiered the first official footage from their upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, which is being hailed as creepy, exciting, and a fantastic realization of the author’s work. However, what’s most interesting about the footage is that it seems to strongly reference other works by King, which is being confirmed by Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer.

Variety is reporting that Bruer says the movie “…has links to the rest of King’s oeuvre, a group of best-sellers that includes It and Salem’s Lot.

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Additionally, during the footage shown at CinemaCon, there was a moment where Jake is talking to his psychiatrist, and a photograph that look suspiciously (read: exactly) like the Overlook Hotel from The Shining flashes across the screen.

It’s no secret that many of King’s books have connections to each other. However, no production company has tried to turn those connections into a cinematic universe where different horror tales each have threads linking them together. If Sony is dipping its toes into this pool, I feel like they might stumble upon a goldmine. Hell, the threads don’t even have to be in-your-face or overt. So long as they are small things, like mentions of the same town or maybe quick cameo appearances of other King characters or nods to their stories in a local newspaper, that’s all that’s needed.

Nothing is certain yet as the film isn’t out, nor do we have a trailer. Once more footage is released (or potentially the film itself), then we can go to town on these speculations. Until then, I’m filing them away as “theories.”

Look for The Dark Tower in theaters on July 28, 2017. Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Tom Taylor, and Katheryn Winnick co-star.

Based on the King-penned fantasy series, the film follows a wandering knight who is the last hope of the fallen land of Mid-World. He is charged with finding the Dark Tower while battling his nemesis, the Man in Black.

Nikolaj Arcel directs with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer producing under their Imagine Entertainment banner along with Stephen King and Erica Huggins.

dark tower poster - CinemaCon 2017: Could The Dark Tower Be the Beginning of a Stephen King Cinematic Universe?