Most Stephen King fans already know that the man has created a sprawling universe, with many of his most popular stories interconnected. He has his own shared universe, which is only now starting to be explored on the big screen. The latest adaptation of his work IT hit theaters this weekend and is proving to be a blockbuster. It contains plenty of Easter eggs. Perhaps not as many as this past summer’s Dark Tower movie, which featured it’s own IT shoutout. But you might be surprised how IT connects to a lot of King’s past novels.
Entertainment Weekly has a pretty comprehensive break down of all the Easter eggs and connections IT contains to other Stephen King works of fiction. The book was originally released in 1986, and then turned into a two-part miniseries in the 90s. Characters and places from IT have been known to pop up a lot in his work. And the author has admitted that, “All of the books kind of relate to other ones.”
IT is probably best known for being connected to The Shining. The Overlook Hotel’s omnipresent cook Dick Hallorann is featured in an IT flashback, within the novel. Racists in Derry burned down a black dance club during Prohibition, and is a scar on the town’s history that will never heal. Hallorann actually saved the life of a man who would become Losers Club member Mike Hanlon’s father.
Ben Hanscom, another member of The Losers’ Club, grows up to live in Hemingford Home in Nebraska. This is the location where Mother Abagail drew the survivors of goodwill in The Stand. Hemingford also happens to just be a little bit down the road from Gatlin, which you might recognize as the deserted town from Children of the Corn.
Beverly Marsh, the sole girl in the Losers’ Club, mentions a crazy crime spree in the pages of IT. She is referring to serial killer Frank Dodd from The Dead Zone. Dodd killed a bunch of women in Castle Rock, and served as the bad guy for emotionally tormented psychic Johnny Smith. IT also references the Maine prison featured in Shawshank Redemption numerous times. There are also references to Christine. At the end of the book, murderous bully Henry Bowers escapes from his mental asylum, the ancient evil entity has turned itself into a very familiar 1958 Plymouth Fury, giving Bowers a ride back to Derry, with a long dead friend at the wheel.
While IT is tied to those previous books, some of King’s future novels would go onto reference the events that took place in IT. Released a year later in 1987, The Tommyknockers features a scene with Pennywise. The character of Tommy Jacklin, whose body has been hijacked and mutilated by aliens, makes a pitstop in Derry. There, he sees a clown peering at him through a sewer grate. He goes onto assume that it is merely a hallucination. The 2001 novel Dreamcatchers features a plaque where the decimated town of Derry used to stand. Crossing it in spray paint are the words, ‘Pennywise lives.’
Stephen King gets a lot of milage out of the sleepy Maine town of Derry. Part of 11/22/63 takes place there, and that story’s hero George Amberson actually meets Losers’ Club members Beverly Marsh and Richie Tozier in late 1958. There is also references to a clown that are made by Marsh.
The 2014 novel Mr. Mercedes, which recently became a TV show, actually references the IT miniseries from the 1990s and even features a shout out to Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise. There are many more connections like this spread throughout all of Stephen King’s novels. So many, that a new TV show called Castle Rock is coming soon that turns them into an anthology series. IT is in theaters this weekend. And it is already breaking box office records on its way to a $100 million opening weekend.