“We all float down here”.
Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgård) is back to terrorise the town of Derry in first big screen adaptation of King’s famous novel. The film is due out in Australia 7 September 2017 and the first trailer is creepy.
It was adapted as a television mini-series in 1990 with Tim Curry entering our nightmares as the terrifying villain.
The new film tells the story of 7 children as they are terrorised by a supernatural being who appears as a clown and exploits their fears and phobias while hunting them. There’s much more to this adaption than what is in the trailer so here’s everything you need to know.
One of two films
The novel is divided across multiple timelines but the film is taking a linear approach by splitting story across two films. IT is technically Part 1 – The Losers' Club, which focuses only the kids. The second film (if the first doesn’t bomb at the box office) will focus on the group as adults.
Production on the new film began in 2009 with director, Cary Fukunaga (Jayne Eyre, True Detective), set to make the film. Fukunaga clashed with the studio and didn't want to compromise his artistic vision in the wake of budget cuts by the studio. Argentine director, Andrés Muschietti, was hired shortly after after gaining attention with his supernatural horror film Mama.
Park Chan-wook’s cinematographer shot it
Chung-hoon Chung is the cinematographer – a huge vote of confidence for the film. Chung has an incredible career to-date and has worked on: Oldboy, Thirst, Stoker and The Handmaiden.
Endorsed by King
The novelist ain’t always the best person to ask when it comes to adaptation of his books. King clashed with Stanley Kubrick over his adaptation of The Shining, and has had nothing but bad things to say about it, even though it remains one of the best interpretations of his work. King has seen the new version of IT and gave an endorsement via Twitter.
Is that the kid from 'Stranger Things'?
Yep, Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things is a member of The Losers Club. Looking at the trailer you can’t help but feel the influence of the Netflix hit series on this adaptation and the presence of Wolfhard will amplify these similarities.
There will be changes from the book
IT is a 1,138-page book, so it’s a devil to adapt, and it explains why it has taken so long to get this film to the big screen. Splitting the story seems to have eased the risk of shoving it all into one massive film but it also means the interchangeable timelines of the book between the kids and the adults may be lost a little. One of the big changes is that they’ve moved the time period from the 1950s to the 1980s (again, the Stranger Things effect). Book fans; start purging the purist view from your system because it looks like they’ve made changes.
Aiming for a (US) R-Rating
The film has been made with a North American R-rating in mind as confirmed by one of the film’s producers, Dan Lin, in an interview with Collider:
“It is a rated-R movie. If you’re going to make a “Rated-R movie”, you have to fully embrace what it is, and you have to embrace the source material. It is a scary clown that’s trying to kill kids. So of course that’s going to be a rated-R movie. The kids are amazing. You very much get a Stand by Me vibe as far as their camaraderie and the way they joke with each other and that they really care for each other. They do have a scary crown that’s taken over the town of Derry, so it’s going to be rated R.”
Editor's note: The US classification system is different to Australia. According to local distributor Roadshow, It doesn't yet have a rating.
The other Skarsgård
Pennywise is a lot younger in IT and will be played by Bill Skarsgård of the prolific Skarsgård family. His brother is Alexander Skarsgård and his dad is Alexander Stellan Skarsgård.
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