The road to a big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s IT has been a bumpy one. Familiar to millions as a four-hour TV mini series, the first screen version of IT was responsible for some unending nightmares in the 90s. Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown established an icon of screen horror, thanks to the boundless menace of Curry’s turn, always erring on the right side of pantomime. Now we have a new nightmare to look forward to.
Following the departure
Bill Skarsgård is our titular demonic presence, best known by his guise as Pennywise the Clown. Unsurprisingly he is the poster boy for the film adaptation, seen smiling grimly beneath the drain covers of the suburban streets.
Jaeden Lieberher is Bill Denbrough, our chief Loser in the Loser’s Club, Jeremy Ray Taylor is Ben Hanscombe, Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh, the sole female member of the club. Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard was cast by original director Cary Fukunaga as Richie Tozier and remains in the role for this film.
The young cast is complete with Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris, Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak and Nicholas Hamilton rounding off the cast as the embodiment of everyone’s feared childhood bully – Henry Bowers.
The first trailer points to a faithful adaptation of the film, though as has been stated in the pre-production period elements of the horror have been updated for today’s audience. Fukanaga’s work, deeply personal to him, lives on in the first script, however he told Variety about the disagreements that caused him to leave the project.
“I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience. It was the creative that we were really battling. It was two movies. They didn’t care about that. In the first movie, what I was trying to do was an elevated horror film with actual characters. They didn’t want any characters. They wanted archetypes and scares. I wrote the script. 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.”
This doesn’t bode well for the adaptation, though we will always keep our hopes up and look forward to the film that is, rather than the film we almost saw.
Here’s the first trailer,
IT Movie Trailer