Originally Posted by Walker
And casting Down's Syndrome actors isn't a new thing for Stephen King. It was done, and was a strength, in Kingdom Hospital(which took it's cue from Lars Von Trier's original series).
I agree, but Tom doesn't LOOK retarded in the novel...he's just a big hick in bib-overalls with the mind of a child.
From the KingWiki
Tom Cullen is a man initially thought to be in his mid-20's to mid-30's who suffers from mild to moderate mental retardation. Nick encounters him while cycling from Arkansas to Nebraska through Oklahoma. After Nick learns that Tom remembers his father's return from the Korean War, he realizes Tom must be much older than he thought, perhaps in his 40's. The two bond closely, despite the fact that Nick cannot speak, and Tom cannot read Nick’s notes, though when the two encounter Ralph Brentner, Tom is finally able to learn Nick's name.
Tom generally possesses a childish speech pattern, peppered with exclamations of "My laws!" and "Laws, yes!" and he makes frequent references to himself in the third person. Tom also believes that everything is spelled "M-O-O-N" as in "M-O-O-N, that spells 'my main man'." When needing to make a logical connection, Tom, who is sometimes capable of normal thought, may slip into a form of self-hypnosis wherein he is able to make connections that he cannot while "awake" (that is, conscious and focused on something superficial). Nick, Stu, and Glen use this ability to place a post-hypnotic suggestion in Tom that will help him to act as the third Free Zone spy. During his hypnosis, Nick, Stu, and Glen discover that while hypnotized, Tom possesses the same type of foresight as Mother Abagail, referring to himself as the same Tom that Nick met in Oklahoma, but at the same time he proclaims himself to be "God’s Tom".
Tom travels West, giving a hypnotically imprinted cover story to get accepted into Las Vegas, and is able to avoid detection by Flagg. Tom’s anonymity seems to stem from his disability, as Flagg tells Dayna that every time he tries to see the third spy, all he sees is the moon; this confirms Dayna's sighting of Tom earlier (while both were on Vegas work crews), and her desire to protect both Tom and his status as a spy compels her to commit suicide rather than submit to further questioning by Flagg. The sight of the full moon rising over Las Vegas triggers Tom’s post-hypnotic suggestion, and he begins the return trip to Boulder, appropriately noting "M-O-O-N, that spells moon."
During his return to Boulder, he encounters Stu, who is suffering from a broken leg and pneumonia due to exposure. Originally, Tom was far east of where Stu fell, but a prophetic dream tells him that he must double back to find Stu. With help from Nick's spirit, who appears to him in visions (due to the fact that Nick is already deceased due to Harold Lauder's bomb), Tom is able to nurse a delirious and dying Stu back to health while they are snowed in for much of the winter at a motel in central Utah. Together, they return to Boulder to report the destruction of Las Vegas.
You don't need the sign-posts of Down to hammer the point home.
Originally Posted by Walker
Vedder's certainly satanic looking enough.
...Like you seem to be invested in here.
Let the AUDIENCE THINK, dammit!!