Film Theory: Is PENNYWISE In A Wrinkle In Time? (Stephen King Connected Universe Theory)
If you thought Deadpool being Ernest Hemmingway was one of the most off-the-wall theories on the channel We’ll get ready cuz you ain’t seen nothing yet. What if I told you that 2017’s biggest horror movie is the lost sequel to 2018’s biggest kids movie. Yep. Pennywise and Wrinkle In Time are connected. Now I can already see you furrowing your brows through the screen; impatient for some kind of explanation. Well, get ready because in the words of Oprah – [Oprah: “Be A Warrior.”] I will be a warrior Oprah and an explanation I shall deliver unto you. YOU GET AN EXPLANATION AND YOU GET AN EXPLANATION AND YOU GET AN EXPLANATION!! EVERYBODY GETS AN EXPLANATION!! [Film Theory Title Music] Hello Internet! Welcome to Film Theory. The show that proves that the fastest way from point A to point B isn’t a line, but rather a theory that teleports you straight through the plot holes. Ladies and Gentlemen, leave your Botox at home for this one because A Wrinkle in Time looks pretty darn awesome. And I’ll be lining up with the other 90s nerdy kids to relive my dreams of folding space-time to save the world. Today, though, we’re not here to talk about magical centaurs or the folding science of the fifth dimension. No sir! Today we’re talking about something else – or should I say someone else? Someone else who you may be familiar with; someone else who literally wrote his books and movies into the same fictional universe as A Wrinkle in Time. Hit the snooze button for your Android’s and drive right past that Hitchhiker because I’m not talking about any of those sci-fi hotshots. No, sir. Today we’re talking Stephen King. And I know you’re like: “That’s it! MatPat’s a couple nuts short of a fruitcake. I’m NOT buying it.” And I honestly was super skeptical of this idea at first, too, but the more I looked into it and the more research I did – the more it became unquestionably clear that Stephen King’s Universe is built around the Wrinkle in Time Universe. And you can actually trace the connections between them across no less than SIX books and movies. So are you ready to see how it’s done? By the time I’m done with you today you’re not gonna know what’s rated “R” horror from what’s rated “G” sci-fi. Which, come to think of it, will probably be horrendously traumatic for your children. Now before we can set up our little connected universe conspiracy, It’s important that we know what actually happens in A Wrinkle in Time. If you haven’t read the book and since this is coming up before the movie, this is your chance to avoid MAJOR SPOILERS. If I really have to give those kinds of things for a story that was written back in the 1960s and that practically all of us have read at some point between the grades of four and seven. ANYWAY! This is your spoiler alert for the books! So just time to travel your way back to this point in the episode after you read it. All right, you back? Great! The story is about Meg and her brother Charles Wallace, who are both super-smart kids but Charles Wallace has bonus mind-reading abilities where he can see his sister’s and mom’s thoughts. A little creepy and hopefully he loses that ability for his sister when she hits puberty but whatever! We’re gonna go with it. Their father has mysteriously gone missing and the whole story is about how they find and rescue him from across space-time. They do this when Charles Wallace befriends a mysterious old woman who lives in the woods. Public Service Announcement: DO NOT DO THIS!! Lo and behold, creepy old forest lady just so happens to be an interplanetary shapeshifter named Mrs. Whatsit – and no I didn’t forget her name. That’s just what she goes by. So Mrs.Whatsit, along with her two interplanetary shapeshifter friends Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, whisk the two kids and Meg’s pseudo boyfriend Calvin through space to find the kid’s father. They travel faster than the speed of light using something called a tesseract. In science, tesseracts are basically a cube inside of a cube that you can do all kinds of super advanced math with. In A Wrinkle in Time it basically makes it so you can fold up space-time and just hop across the fold to different parts of the universe. So the kids and the old lady Brigade fold time so they can travel into space. After some planet hopping they land on a dark planet consumed by a dark force. Which the Galactic witches lazily called “The Black Thing”. Really creative naming system in this book. Meg’s dad is fighting the Black Thing and it’s the kids’ job to save him. In their journey have have to confront the black thing which controls people’s minds and makes everyone a drone Charles Wallace with his special mind powers is able to help rescue their father, but gets hypnotized by “The Black Thing” and Meg has to save him through the power of love. Well, in addition to that being more than enough information to write your fifth grade book report – there are a few things in there that should probably be sounding a bit familiar. Like…Stephen King familiar. In fact, I’m here to tell you that the closer you look at this story, the more you’re gonna start to feel like maybe our buddy Stevie did a little creative borrowing and made a few pretty key parts of his universe match A Wrinkle in Time in ways that are a little too on-the-nose to be an accident. Point number one! Let’s start by looking at the main antagonist of A Wrinkle in Time shall we? In the book it’s just referred to as The Black Thing. At least until it’s referred to by another name – “IT”. “For everywhere she looked, everywhere she turned, was the rhythm, and as it continued to control the systole and diastole of her heart, the intake and outlet of her breath, the red miasma began to creep before her eyes again, and she was afraid that she was going to lose consciousness, and if she did that she would be completely in the power of IT.” There it is! Clear as crystal! Capital I. Capital T. “IT”. And this isn’t the only time they use it in the book. “IT” is used consistently thoughout the novel. Now I know what you’re thinking; the “IT” in Stephen King’s It is a clown named Pennywise, with great balloons and really bad teeth. Where “IT” in A Wrinkle in Time doesn’t seem to be especially clowny. It’s more telepathic pulsating brainy. But in REALITY the way we see both of these guys in the movies aren’t really what they look like. In both cases “IT” represents pure evil energy or darkness. The way we see them in the movie is just the form that they happen to be taking at the time. I mean, just look at Pennywise in the new movie! He shaped shifts from a clown to a leper to a girl who just loves her flute a bit too much. Meanwhile it in A Wrinkle in Time goes between black smoke to pulsating brain, a guy with red eyes that hypnotizes Charles Wallace. So we know that both of these villains represent the same thing, they can both change shapes at will and, on top of that, they’re both from a galaxy far far away. With the Wrinkle in Time’s “IT” coming from a distant planet and Stephen King’s “IT”coming from his macro verse, a dimension beyond the one that houses earth. But the parallels don’t end there. Point number two! In both stories “IT” possesses the power of mind control. In Wrinkle in Time it’s really obvious mind control. Where literally everyone is plugged into the same brain and bounces the same basketballs and eats the same mac and cheese. In Stephen King’s “It” the force of mind control is more subtle But it’s still definitely there. No adults leave Derry despite the child murder rate being massively inflated. “IT” is also able to control the mind Derry’s bully, Henry Bowers. Which leads us to point number three – the methods the kids use in a Wrinkle in Time to fight “IT” are awfully similar to the Ritual of Chud from Stephen King’s “It”. Now you don’t really find the Ritual of Chud in the newest movie But if you’re interested I talk about it a lot more over on the last Pennywise Theory I did. Let me just say this, the novel sets it up as this massive psychic battle of wills, where the kids defeat “IT” by refusing to be afraid. Instead they show confidence; humor. All very non afraid emotions and “IT” can’t touch them as a result. This looks mighty familiar if you’re gonna end up watching A Wrinkle in Time this weekend. Where self-assuredness and refusing to give in to fear is actually what saves Calvin and Charles Wallace from the man with red eyes – one of “IT”s various forms. To resist him, Charles Wallace starts spouting off nursery rhymes. Calvin recites the Gettysburg Address. Which when he actually stopped to think about it, is yet another weird parallel considering Bill Denbrough, the stuttering leader of the Losers Club, finds strength to defeat Pennywise by reciting his tongue twisters. [Bill: ” “He thrusts his fists against the post, and still insists he sees the ghost.” And if that’s still not enough for you, both versions of “IT” also have a weakness to love. It’s true. I mean, think back to the end of the 2017 version of “It” where Bev is stirred from her catatonic state when Ben kisses her. Stephen King may have had a little help in that moment from a really similar moment in A Wrinkle In Time where Meg snaps Charles Wallace out of “IT”s spell. Not by kissing him – thankfully cuz they’re brother and sister – but by telling him how deeply she loves him. Hmm…. Similar plot points are similar. Point number four! Charles Wallace in A Wrinkle In Time appears to have psychic powers with the exact same abilities that Stephen King’s Shine ability. Just like Danny Torrance in The Shining and, as I said in my last in theory, the Losers Club. Early on in A Wrinkle In Time, Meg notices that her little brother can apparently read her mind. Quote: “How did Charles Wallace always know about her? How could he always tell? It was his mother’s mind, and Meg’s, that he probed with frightening accuracy.” End quote. Charles Wallace in the book can also sense the evil presence of the man with red eyes before he ever sees him. Correctly predicting that the man is trying to get at him and into his brain. And it’s not just Charles Wallace! When the gang finally does run into the man who uses no Visine, Meg realizes that he’s talking to them without moving his mouth or lips at all, and is instead Communicating directly into their brains. Quote again: “‘I’ve been waiting for you, my dears’, the man said. His voice was kind and gentle, not at all the cold and frightening voice Meg had expected. It took her a moment to realize that, though the voice came from the man, he had not opened his mouth or moved his lips at all, that no real words had been spoken to fall upon her ears, that he had somehow communicated directly into their brains.” End quote. Now, let’s take a moment to revisit Dick Hallorann from the Shining as he defines what shine ability is. [Hallorann: “My grandmother and I could hold conversations entirely without ever opening our mouths. She called it ‘shining.'”] Telepathic communication would be one thing but it doesn’t stop there. If you watched my film theory on “It” you know that Shining tends to be linked to childhood trauma. Dick Hallorann and Danny Torrance in The Shining were both abused by their families. The Losers Club are bullied for being fat, Jewish, a girl, having a stutter, etc. And now look at Meg and Charles Wallace from Wrinkle In Time. Two kids who have both had to deal with the unexplained disappearance of their father. I mean even kid three, Calvin, in A Wrinkle In Time is established to have a physically abusive mother. All the pieces are there. The kids, the telepathic powers, the origin story. Of course, if A Wrinkle In Time truly takes place in the same universe as “It” that means it’s really taking place in the Stephen King Multiverse. Which would imply that these two universes share the same mechanics. Enter point number five! In both the Wrinkle in Time universe and the Stephen King multiverse characters can travel outside their own reality while stopping time. When Meg worries that everyone at home will be looking for her and Charles Wallace while they go planet hopping, Mrs.What’sit assures her that she’s created a little wrinkle in time – roll credits – saying quote: “We’ll have you back about five minutes before you left. So there’ll be time to spare and nobody will ever know that you were gone at all.” End quote. This sort of freezing of time while characters explore other planets and timelines fits the same rules as the time portal in Stephen King’s novel 11.22.63 In that book a man discovers a portal that takes him back in time to 1958 and regardless of how long he stays in the past, when he returns to the present only two minutes have passed. I should also mention that in both A Wrinkle in Time and 11.22.63 the characters are able to affect the events of their timeline. The Murray children managed to bring their father back, even though they end up going back in time and the actions performed in the past in 11.22.63 don’t change the time that you arrive but they do change the kind of world that you arrive back in! For good or bad. In this case the main character, Jake Epping, discovers this fact when he comes back to a nuclear holocaust. Awkward and oh yeah, if you’re wondering whether 11.22.63 is part of the Stephen King’averse well then rest your pretty little heads my friends. Jake Epping visits Derry, Maine and visits Beverly Marsh and Richie Tozier during his journey. Now some of you still might be skeptical. Stephen King’s multiverse and A Wrinkle In Time both share a lot of sci-fi elements and themes because well, they’re both scifi books. Duh, but what about the similarities that are a bit too close to write off as a mere coincidence? Things that can only match up because they’re in the same Canon. For instance, point number six! In Chapter six of A Wrinkle In Time it’s revealed that the three Misses W’s were all once stars that have taken human form to act as the three guides for the children. Quote: “The complete, the true Mrs. Whatsit, Meg realized, was beyond human understanding. What she saw was only the game Mrs. Whatsit was playing. “I didn’t mean to tell you”, Mrs. Whatsit faltered. “I didn’t mean ever to let you know, but oh my dears. I did so loved being a star!'” Now that’s a pretty specific and unique concept. Stars that can take human shape and vice versa – and yet the Stephen King’averse has got this one too! In Chapter eleven of Dark Tower 3: The Wastelands, we hear the story of Apon, Lydia, and Cassiopeia – three ancient figures who become stars. Quote: “Before time began…Old Star and Old Mother had been young and passionate newlyweds. Then one day they had a terrible argument. Old mother (who in those long ago days have been known by her real name, which was Lydia) had caught Old Star (whose real name was Apon) hanging out with a beautiful young woman named Cassiopeia…. In the end, the gods had to step in so Apon and Lydia might not, in their anger, destroy the universe… Cassiopeia… had been banished to a rocking chair made of stars forever and ever – Apon and Lydia are three billion years gone They’ve become Old Star and Old Mother, the North and South. Each pining for the other but both now too proud to beg for reconciliation.” End Quote. So humans as stars and stars as humans. If it wasn’t getting weirdly similar before, now you should be really feeling those dots get connected, but perhaps the Fundamental idea that made the Wrinle in Time so unique in literature was the concept of moving through realities instantaneously. The concept of the tesseract and yet try as I might to find it it’s a word that Stephen King’s multiverse doesn’t mention once. So is this where the theory dies? Well… point number seven. The Stephen King multiverse has tesseracting. In The Dark Tower series certain characters are able to travel through time and space by using what’s called “Todash”. Todash space is the void between universes. And characters can travel through it to reach other worlds instantaneously. Going Todash, though, is very dangerous. It’s possible to get stuck between worlds in the Todash darkness, where the monsters dwell. Meanwhile Mrs. Whatsit describes Tesseracting as making the connection between two faraway things in a way that bypasses the distance between them. Quote: “Well the fifth dimensions a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions And you can travel through space without having to go the long way around…. a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.” It’s literally finding the wrinkles in space-time and passing the empty space they create. Exactly the way that Todash is described. So yeah, the terms are different. Except for the whole concept of it that we covered for the first three points of this theory. And yes, they may be used for different purposes. But it is clear that both Stephen King’s multiverse and A Wrinkle in Time share the same physical wonders, the same kinds of powers, and even the same quantum mechanics. So who knows? It certainly seems like Wrinkle in Time has all the trappings of being the lost Stephen King Dark Tower novel – even though it came out like 30 years before the first one of those. It’s kind of like a children’s Dark Tower. Dark Tower for beginners. And if so think of what craziness this sort of connected universe would deliver to us! This is the true origin story of “It”! The origin of Pennywise! And heck – maybe “It” Chapter two will finally be able to feature Oprah in the role that she was born to play match; Maturin the Cosmic Turtle. You know what? A Theorist can dream. BUT HEY! That’s just a theory. A FILM THEORY! And….. TESSERACT!! And while you’re floating your way through that Todash space make sure that you teleport your way through that SUBSCRIBE button. So that way you can see what other weird film franchise crossovers we come up with in future theories. AND in case you missed it, the button to the right will take you to that Pennywise theory I mentioned earlier. How the Losers Club all secretly Shine. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to…wrinkle my way to the nearest lunch location. Cause I am hungry…. See you next week!!