Pennywise took some time out from showing up in your nightmares this week by appearing in his second movie trailer this summer. Did you see him? While the rest of us were spinning around with giddiness like the wheel of Ka itself, eagle-eyed fans noticed that IT was name dropped during the trailer for The Dark Tower.
We All Float Down Here In All-World...
The Easter Egg can be spotted while Jake Chambers wanders around the realm of All-World, presumably in search of #TheDarkTower itself. We're only given a brief shot, but it's clear that Chambers has stumbled upon the remains of a dilapidated fairground that has the name "Pennywise" emblazoned across it. As if that wasn't enough, the scene also includes a hand holding a bunch of broken balloons, floating much like the kids in Derry's sewer system.
Sure, Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise doesn't actually appear in The Dark Tower trailer, but both this reference and The Shining Easter Egg confirm that Stephen King's movies are connected in one shared universe. With that in mind, we wouldn't be surprised if the Dancing Clown does make a cameo in the final release. After all, this wouldn't be the first time that the story of #IT has been linked with 'The Dark Tower'.
How Does Pennywise Connect To The Dark Tower?
The Dark Tower itself is the focal point of Stephen King's shared universe, connecting to each one of his stories. Naturally then, 'IT' also shares a number of links with the author's fantasy saga, but only hardcore fans will realise exactly how much Pennywise's story is intertwined with that of the Gunslinger.
1) The most obvious link comes in the form of #Pennywise himself. In the book, the Dancing Clown emits a form of energy known as "Deadlights," which Roland's enemy, The Crimson King, also possesses.
2) Another Dark Tower villain known as Dandelo also shares similar abilities with Pennywise, including the power to change shape, feed on emotions and both possess the true form of an insect or spider. Fans previously theorised that Dandelo and Pennywise could be one and the same, but Stephen King has debunked that idea, making it seem far more likely that they're both members of the same species instead.
3) At one point in the books, Jake Chambers spots elves peering out at him from under green caps in the wallpaper found at Dutch Hill. Bizarrely, the decor in the house on Niebold Street from IT is described as eerily similar. When the Losers Club pass through the house's front door, are they in fact stepping into Roland's world?
4) In The Gunslinger, Walter Paddick — otherwise known as The Man In Black — mentions a creature known as Legion, which just so happens to be the name that the voices in the drain give themselves towards the beginning of IT.
5) At one point, Roland and Susannah meet a robot called Stuttering Bill. Anyone who's read IT knows that protagonist Bill Denbrough is given the same nickname throughout his childhood.
6) In IT, mention is made repeatedly of The Turtle and the power that it lends The Losers Club in the fight against Pennywise, even in the first chapter when Georgie waxes his paper boat. The Dark Tower series explores this concept in far more detail, revealing that the Turtle is a guardian of the beam, directly opposing Pennywise and the Crimson King in their quest to bring down The Dark Tower.
7) IT specifically references The Dark Tower mythology on several occasions, including when it's stated that, "In this universe there might grow roses which sing," referring to how the Tower took form as a rose in New York City.
8) While flying towards Derry, adult Ben Hanscom hears "chimes" during a daydream, which sounds remarkably like the todash chimes that frequent The Dark Tower books. In both cases, the noise is associated with forms of lucid dreaming.
9) When Richie encounters IT once again at the Paul Bunyan statue in 1985, he instantly draws comparisons between the size of Pennywise's glove and a "beam," to which the clown replies; "Before removing the mote from thy neighbor's eye, attend the beam in thine own." This of course refers to the beams that help hold The Dark Tower in place, and connect each of Stephen King's realities.
How Does Pennywise Connect To The Wider Stephen King Shared Universe?
When he's not dancing or ripping off the arms of small children, Pennywise also takes the time to appear in other Stephen King stories, terrorizing iconic characters in the author's shared universe.
Here are some of the clown's most memorable connections;
Dreamcatcher — A very obvious nod to IT appears when Jonesy reads out these lines while possessed by Mr Gray:
"TO THOSE LOST IN THE STORM MAY 31, 1985 AND TO THE CHILDREN ALL THE CHILDREN LOVE FROM BILL, BEN, BEV, EDDIE, RICHIE, STAN, MIKE THE LOSERS' CLUB."
Christine — Henry Bowers is picked up at one point by the formerly deceased Butch Huggins in a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Is this the same car as the one that kills people in Christine? If that's the case, then this implies that the demonic vehicle is in fact controlled by Pennywise himself.
The Shining — Dick Halloran was the kindly head chef who met his unfortunate end in the Overlook Hotel — but did you know that he used to work alongside Mike Hanlon's dad before the events of IT?
The Tommyknockers — The Dancing Clown briefly appears when a minor character drives through the streets of Derry and notices a clown peering out from the storm drains with silver eyes.
NOS4A2 — Specific reference is made to Pennywise while Charles Manx drives towards Christmasland, confirming that the work of Stephen King's son Joe Hill is set in the same universe as his father's.
Mr. Mercedes — The killer in Mr. Mercedes wears a mask that sounds remarkably similar to Pennywise. Presumably, the Dancing Clown made little or no royalties from this endorsement.
11/22/63 — Both Richie Tozier and Beverley Marsh make a surprise cameo together during Jake Epping's time travel exploits, discussing the Turtle, clowns and other references that only fans of IT would understand.
Insomnia — Also set in Derry, Maine, Insomnia features an appearance from Mike Hanlon, who remains the town's head librarian.
Considering the incredible number of Stephen King movie and TV adaptations currently on the horizon, we wouldn't be surprised if the final release of The Dark Tower unveils an entire Stephen King cinematic universe just waiting to happen. Perhaps we may even end up seeing Pennywise dancing his way up the steps of the Dark Tower itself...
Have you spotted any links between 'IT' and 'The Dark Tower' that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!