There’s something up with Stephen King — rather, his house, which looks to have been taken over by a certain sinister clown. It’s a little tough to notice at first, but if you look very closely, it appears the master of horror literature has put a red balloon up in one of the front windows of his gorgeous home in Bangor, Maine to celebrate the impending release of It.
This week’s The Dark Tower starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey is the first big-budget adaptation of a Stephen King novel in a while, but King’s books and short stories have inspired more than 30 years of great horror, sci-fi, and drama films. Even as The Dark Tower is designed to launch a new franchise based on King’s epic fantasy series, the film is littered with references, homages, and Easter eggs to previous King novels - and to the movies they spawned. In this new video from ScreenCrush’s Britt Hayes and Ryan Arey, we connect all the dots between The Dark Tower and the long history of Stephen King cinema.
You know Stephen King as one of the world’s most prolific and beloved fiction authors. But did you know King spent years writing books under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, and that several of “Bachman”s stories have been adapted to the screen too? That list includes the likes of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man. That’s just one of the facts featured in the latest installment of You Think You Know Movies!
It was last summer that the the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin paused the series adaptation of Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, but the title killer is finally ready to ride. AT&T’s blood-soaked tale has a first full trailer for its August premiere.
It doesn’t take a Stephen King super-fan to spot the two major easter eggs in the first trailer for The Dark Tower, but as Constant Readers (King’s nickname for his loyal fanbase) can tell you, that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. King’s epic novel series is, among other things, a riveting piece of meta-fiction that ties all of his works (and worlds) together, so it’s inevitable that this summer’s highly-anticipated film adaptation will have more than a few easter eggs for casual fans and Constant Readers alike to discover — and King himself is giving you a head start.
Marketing for big-budget blockbusters has become so predictable that you can now mark the passage of time between any given month and a film’s release date by the number of TV spots and featurettes you’ve seen. Despite a handful of early viral promotions, Sony’s approach to marketing The Dark Tower has been fairly unusual in comparison to how other studios typically handle films of similar size and budget. That they didn’t release a trailer (or even a proper teaser) for such a highly-anticipated blockbuster until today, just three months out from release, seemed strange — to say the least. And yet that delayed marketing tactic feels more like a teachable moment than a cautionary tale.
If you’re a huge Stephen King fan (like me!), then you undoubtedly noticed two fairly huge easter eggs in the first trailer for The Dark Tower, which finally — after months of anticipation and growing concern — debuted online early this morning. Those less familiar with the SKU (the Stephen King Universe) may have missed the pair of references to two of King’s most iconic stories, both of which have also been adapted before.
By this point in a big film’s marketing cycle, we typically would have seen a couple trailers, a ton of posters, lengthy magazine pieces, the works. In contrast, there has been so little concrete info out there on The Dark Tower, which opens in theaters in almost exactly three months, that some people (like, y’know, me) began to doubt whether the movie would open on time, or even if it existed at all.