Warning: Spoilers for Gerald's Game are in play. If you haven't seen the film yet, spark up your Netflix account and come back once you've finished.
If you end up watching the Netflix adaptation of Stephen King's novel Gerald's Game, there's a line of dialogue that's going to make your jaw drop. In the middle of co-writer/director Mike Flanagan's claustrophobic thriller, there's a sequence where Carla Gugino's Jessie is listening to her dead husband Gerald, played by Bruce Greenwood, talk to her about the threat of Death coming to claim her in the night. During this monologue, there's a line that drops into the conversation so surprising, we had to rewind the movie to make sure we'd heard it properly. Sure enough, Gerald drops the following, big ticket reference to The Dark Tower lore, saying:
For the uninitiated, "The Beam" is a reference to the six Beams that hold together the seven worlds of The Dark Tower universe. All six beams of light hold up the structure of the titular tower, and throughout the book series, the Man in Black tries to take down these Beams to achieve his end game -- the destruction of the Tower itself. Guarding those Beams are two animal guardians a piece, and one of those animals just happens to be a dog. Could this mean that Prince, the dog that takes its part in the narrative of Gerald's Game, is a beam guardian? Probably not, but the coincidence is interesting enough to mention.
Now there's no real reason for this reference to exist in the contents of Gerald's Game, as there aren't any other connections between the stories, except for two things of note. That reason being that much like all other Stephen King stories, the universe of The Dark Tower serves as the hub of all things King. So while there's no other interpretation of lore from the tales of Roland Deschain's epic battle against the Man in Black, it's still part of the connected "Shared Kingdom" that all of the author's work rests in. That's all thanks to the aforementioned beams.
Of course, this isn't the only Stephen King adaptation this year to reference The Dark Tower, albeit this is a more directly connected reference than what we've seen before. In this summer's new adaptation of IT, there's a couple instances where turtles are mentioned or referenced throughout the film. These are slight nods to one of the other Beam guardians, a turtle by the name of Maturin. Originally, through the narrative of IT's novel, Maturin taught Bill Denborough the Ritual of Chud, which was a vital piece of mental trickery that helped The Loser's Club defeat Pennywise. But in the movie, it's more of an easter egg for the fans, which is definitely what this reference in Gerald's Game appears to be classified as.
While The Dark Tower film may not have succeeded, its lore is still respected and referenced throughout Stephen King's many works. Should Netflix's other collaboration with the author, 1922, turn out to be a success, perhaps Roland and the Man in Black should flee the deserts of Sony and find their new home on the streaming production company's turf. For now, you'll be able to enjoy Gerald's Game on Netflix as of today, with 1922 coming on October 20th.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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