The Dark Tower is a big deal for Stephen King fans. It’s an adaptation of his enormous fantasy saga but it’s also a keystone for his entire universe. Yes, Stephen King was all about shared universes way before Marvel and DCThe Dark Tower was expected to pull together some pieces of King’s other works, but there are more allusions than we had anticipated. Take a look at these eerie connections…

The Overlook Hotel from The Shining

the dark tower the shining overlook hotel

The iconic hotel from The Shining makes an appearance on the desk of Jake Chambers‘s psychiatrist. What’s interesting about this is that it’s the version of the hotel from the Stanley Kubrick film. King has famously denounced Kubrick’s adaptation, even though it is regarded as one of the best horror films ever made. The actual hotel that inspired King’s story was the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Could this mean that an adult Danny Torrance might show up in later installments? King did write a sequel featuring Danny called Doctor Sleep, so the idea isn’t completely far-fetched.

Pennywise’s Circus from It (sort of)

the dark tower it pennywise circus

This was quite the shocker! Pennywise is the shapeshifting creature from It, one of Stephen King’s most recognizable (and greatest) novels. It’s worth noting that Pennywise never has any kind of circus that we see in the book and his clown form is chosen because it helped to lure children. Eventually, the creature found that Pennywise was its favorite form and began to adopt it more often. However, Pennywise’s Circus does show up in a map of other dimensional worlds called Inscapes in Joe Hill‘s novel, NOS4A2. Hill is King’s son and they have actually collaborated on a number of stories together. Could this dilapidated signage be from that dimension?

It’s also intriguing that this would show up considering that It is getting its own film adaptation that will release only a month after The Dark Tower. The two films are being produced by separate studios so it’s very cool to see this kind of connectivity, even if Pennywise is not going to actually show up in The Dark Tower.

Cujo from… well, Cujo

the dark tower cujo

Stephen King has said that eagle-eyed fans will be able to see Cujo walking the streets of New York City in the finished film. Cujo is from the novel of the same name. He’s a St. Bernard that gets bitten by a bat. Cujo becomes infected with rabies and ends up killing a number of people. The novel is much darker and contemplative than the 1983 film version that most people are familiar with. If King’s quote is correct, you shouldn’t expect Cujo to be more than a background gag for hardcore fans.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast, The Drew Reviews Podcast. He'll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him.