IT is one of Stephen King’s most beloved stories. The book was previously adapted into a two-part miniseries in 1990 with actor Tim Curry in the role of Pennywise the Clown. Although the miniseries has its fans, this big screen adaptation of the King novel seems to fit more with the sensibilities of modern filmmaking than the original adaptation did.
The film has already been screened for advance audiences, and much of the reactions on social media have been pretty positive. In fact, you can count King himself as another person enthusiastic about how Andrés Muschietti’s vision turned out.
King recently spoke about the new film, and interestingly enough, the finished product exceeded his expectations:
“I had hopes, but I was not prepared for how good it really was. It’s something that’s different, and at the same time, it’s something that audiences are gonna relate to. They’re gonna like the characters. To me, it’s all about character. If you like the characters… if you care… the scares generally work. I’m sure my fans will enjoy the movie. I think they’re gonna really enjoy the movie. And I think some of them will go back two or three times and actually savor the thing. I went back and saw it a second time, and I felt I was seeing things the second time through that I missed the first time.”
Of course, some may take King’s enthusiasm for the movie with a grain of salt. After all, he is helping the studio in promoting the film so it can attain more success at the box office.
But this endorsement by King should encourage fans of the book no matter what. For one, King’s comments should bode confidence in audiences who have read the novel because no one knows these characters better than the author himself.
You can watch King’s interview down below.
Here is the synopsis for IT:
When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise, an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
IT will bring terror to the big screen on September 8, 2017, featuring a cast that includes Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the 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.
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