Director Andrés Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic book, IT will be floating to theaters this Friday and so far the film has been garnering positive reviews and reports are advising that the opening box office could be as high as $75 million.
Many have been praising Bill Skarsgård’s role as the titular villain, Pennywise the Dancing Clown and how horrifying his rendition of the character was. Muschietti and his sister, producer Barbara Muschietti knew that casting the role of Pennywise was no easy feat given that Skarsgård had some relatively large clown shoes to fill due to Tim Curry’s memorable performance in the 1990 miniseries based on the classic novel
“But the moment that I saw Bill, I got immediately intrigued by him. And I said, ‘Maybe this guy…’ Barbara also [snaps his fingers] immediately reacted to him.”
Muschietti revealed that there was no CGI when it came to the gaze of Pennywise as Skarsgård surprised him during production when the actor revealed that he could independently move each of his eyes, giving Pennywise an unsettling and inhuman appearance:
“We were talking about the character, and I said, ‘In post-production I’m going to deviate your eyes,’ and he said, ‘I can do it.’ He was here in the morning and he was doing the trick. It’s crazy. What are the chances the guy that you picked for the role could do it?”
IT will bring terror to the big screen on September 8, 2017, featuring a cast that includes Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, Jaeden Lieberher as Bill Denbrough, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom, Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh, Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak, Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon, and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris. A sequel covering the events from the second half of King’s book is planned, although no release date has been set.
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