While Andy Muschietti’s reimaging of Stephen King’s IT is currently making a killing at the box office, it is widely known that getting the film made was far from smooth sailing. The film has roughly been in development since 2009 and has been through different directors that were slated to take the helm such as David Kajganich and Cary Fukunaga as well as different revisions of the script.
While the original book is well over a thousand pages, there was no doubt a number of changes that had to have been made in regards to telling a coherent story that a mass audience is able to follow on the big screen during the production of the film including have to remove or alter scenes that were originally included in the theatrical cut.
One such sequence that was altered during production was that of the Loser Club’s showdown with Pennywise. In an interview with Variety, Jaeden Lieberher who portrayed Bill revealed how instead of the ending being the group banding together to defeat the shape-shifting clown it was originally supposed to be his character going mano-a-mano against the titular villain:
“I did have this scene where I climb up the tower at the end. When I’m chasing after Georgie, I climb the tower and I’m at a one-on-one confrontation with Pennywise and then I say that I’m not afraid of him, that none of the losers are afraid of him, and that’s how we beat him. But they took those lines and put toward the end, right after our big fight. So I had this whole thing where Bill Skarsgard is grabbing me and pushing me off the ledge, and I had to wear this harness. That was a more difficult scene.”
Although it is apparent that Muschietti wanted to further emphasize the Losers Club working together as a whole to conquer their fears in order to defeat the demonic clown, perhaps there is a chance that this altered ending may see the light of day as an added bonus in a future home video release?
Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. A group of young kids face their biggest fears when they seek answers to the disappearance of children in their hometown of Derry, Maine. They square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
Directed by Andy Muschietti, the film stars Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Olef, Jack Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, and Bill Skarsgård.
Stephen King’s IT is now showing in theaters everywhere.
10 Stephen King Adaptations Hollywood Needs To Get Right
With The Dark Tower and It, two of King’s most famous and beloved works, reaching the big screen, it feels like the gates are opening on a new age of Stephen King adaptations
Already we’ve seen 1) a new Carrie movie, 2) Under the Dome and 11/22/63 get TV adaptations 3) Netflix’s upcoming Gerald’s Game, 4) a TV series based on the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, 5) Josh Boone looks to make Revival his follow-up to X-Men: The New Mutants, 5) a new version of Hearts in Atlantis is in the works (just called Hearts) and 6) a Cujo remake, with the amazing title of C.U.J.O. Even Cell got made, plus a personal favorite of mine The Mist is back in the form of a new Syfy series airing later this year (based on both the original novella and Frank Darabont’s superb 2007 film).
Our age of cinematic universes feels tailor-made for the world-renowned author. King is known not only for his productivity but for how his stories interlock together in the same universe (multiverse, if you want to get specific). His entire oeuvre is connected by characters, locations, and events, all centered around the literal and figurative Dark Tower, the structure and book series sit at the center of King’s worlds. Of course, no one entity owns the rights to all of King’s works, so we won’t be seeing, say, Pennywise the Dancing Clown say hi to Idris Elba’s gunslinger in a movie anytime soon, but it speaks to King’s continued relevance.
There are, of course, the adaptations that are sacrosanct and need to no update, plus others where we are simply waiting to see if they happen. Speaking of Darabont, he delivered a trilogy of amazing King adaptations in my opinion between The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Rob Reiner also mastered the artform, giving us Stand by Me and Misery. There’s already a perfectly-good The Dead Zone movie and TV show. The Tommyknockers and Desperation got the miniseries treatment in 1991 and 2006, respectively. The latter came with a teleplay by King himself, while the former was announced for a new miniseries back in 2013 along with Rosemary’s Baby, the failure of which may have something to do with the radio silence since the announcement. The Shining is actually not one, with King famously disliking the Stanley Kubrick film enough to make a miniseries of his own to “correct” the record (and a Shining prequel is first on our list).
While some works defy or seek re-adaptation, the breadth of the man’s work means there’s plenty of new stuff to mine in the coming years as well. Click Next to learn which to watch out for!
Honorable mentions: The Dark Half, Dolores Claiborne, Apt Pupil, Dreamcatcher