Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming horror film:
It’s Based on Stephen King’s 1986 Novel
As mentioned before, It is based on King’s 1,100-page novel of the same name. Not for nothing, but the book won the British Fantasy Award in 1987 and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and a Hugo (which is a big deal). If that wasn’t enough, It was the No. 1 bestselling novel in the country when it was released and has continued to sell over the last 30 years.
King plops his story into the fictional town of Derry, Maine (a familiar location to King fans) where a group of children – known as The Losers Club – battle an ancient evil being that murders kids. The book has parallel timelines, with the story shuffling between when the characters were kids and adults.
If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do. It’s awesome.
It Was A 1990 TV Miniseries
ABC produced a three-hour adaptation in 1990 of the famous novel with Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season Of The Witch) directing. The miniseries played down some of King’s more graphic content (while omitting that scene entirely…book readers know what I’m talking about), but the product was well-received by critics and popular with audiences (17.5 million viewers for part one, 19.2 million for part two).
Though the miniseries hasn’t aged well, Tim Curry’s performance as the titular killer clown remains a beloved take on the terrifying character. He practically ushered in coulrophibia single-handedly.
Cary Fukunaga’s Aborted Attempt
Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have been eyeing an It remake for some time now. In 2009, David Kajganich (The Invasion) was tapped to write the screenplay and update it to place the adult characters in the present day and the children’s half in the ‘80s (the book had ‘80s and ‘50s).
True Detective season one director Cary Fukunaga boarded the project as co-writer and director in June 2012. He planned to make two films: one focused on the kids and one with the adults. King even approved of the developing screenplay Fukunaga was working on with Chase Palmer.
Fukunaga proposed a budget of around a very reasonable $32 million, though it’s unclear if that covered one movie or both. Realistically, that budget likely covered just the first film.
Fukunaga cast Will Poulter as Pennywise in May 2015, but then departed the film later that same month. His explanation, “I was trying to make an unconventional horror film,” he told Variety. “It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what [New Line] knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience. They wanted me to make a much more inoffensive, conventional script. But I don’t think you can do proper Stephen King and make it inoffensive.”
The New It
Andres Muschietti (Mama) stepped into the director’s role and the plan, for now, is still to make two films. Fukunaga’s script has been pushed aside for a new one from Muschietti and Gary Dauberman.
Here’s the cast of the 2017 It:
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise
Jaeden Lieberher as Bill Denbrough
Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom
Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh
Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier
Jack Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak
Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon
Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris
Nicholas Hamilton as Henry Bowers
Owen Teague as Patrick Hockstetter
Logan Thompson as Victor Criss
The adult cast has not yet been announced.
Part one of It will hit theaters on September 8.