The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower is Stephen King's magnum opus which connects many of the writer's novels into a single universe. It turns out the movies based on those books will do the same thing. A new report says that Jake Chambers, one of the key members of Roland's ka-tet of travelers, will have the same ability that Danny Torrance had in The Shining.

In Roland of Gilead's quest for the Dark Tower, he pulls a handful of people out of our modern world, into his post-apocalyptic wasteland. The first one of these that he meets is Jake Chambers, a boy who died under the tires of a car in 1970's New York City, and woke up at a Way Station in the middle of a massive desert. While Jake is very important to the story as a whole, especially the first three books, according to a story in Entertainment Weekly, he will be even more important in the movie. He's not simply a random boy, he's a boy with special abilities called "The Shine," which EW states that King readers "should recognize backwards and forwards." The man that Roland is looking for as the books open, played by Matthew McConaughey, will be searching for Jake in the film.

You don't even need to be a serious Stephen King fan to recognize the reference. The Shine is The Shining, the psychic ability that Danny Torrance has in the King novel of the same name which was turned into a movie by Stanley Kubrick. It's this ability that allows Danny to see all the terrible things that have happened inside the Overlook Hotel. In The Dark Tower, Walter will be on a quest to find Jake, so that he can use the boy's ability for his own purposes. It appears that Jake's ability will help Walter, aka The Man in Black, destroy the world, or all worlds.

This is another significant departure from the original books that the movie appears to be making. While there are characters in The Dark Tower who do have psychic abilities, and Jake Chambers does turn out to be one of those people, the ability is called "The Touch" in King's books. In addition, while Jake's ability in the books has its purpose, it comes in much later in the series, as opposed to here, where it looks to be a major part of the plot from the get-go.

While there is now a clear and distinct connection between The Dark Tower and The Shining, don't expect to get any Jack Nicholson references in the new movie. Stephen King has made it clear he's not a fan of the Stanley Kubrick film, as it focuses much more on Jack Torrance's insanity than it does the connection between father and son, a key component of King's original novel.

What do you think of this connection between Stephen King works? Do you think we'll see additional connections made between The Dark Tower and other books?

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