How do you defeat an evil clown? This age old question has plagued children ever since the red-nosed bastards first set out to ruin the birthday parties of our youth, but the kids of Derry have more reason to ask this than most. After all, Pennywise isn't just your regular dancing clown. He also just so happens to be an ancient, inter-dimensional entity of immense evil who would love nothing more than to rip you apart, limb by limb, and eat your remains.
While we already know that Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise will return to taunt the Losers Club in IT: Part Two, a small detail found in the new trailer for Part One may have just revealed how the children will best the Dancing Clown in Muschietti's film adaptation.
If you weren't among the thousands who covered their eyes watching the latest IT movie trailer, then you may have spotted an all-too brief shot of a gun holstered to Mike Hanlon's waist with ammo attached. Is this how the Losers Club will defeat Pennywise in the upcoming IT movie? Read on for 'IT' book spoilers and potential movie spoilers too.
How Did The Losers Club Defeat Pennywise In Stephen King's Book?
In Stephen King's original text, the Losers Club manage to grab hold of a gun from Bill Denbrough's father, Zack, and try to use it against IT in the house on Neibolt Street. Ben Hanscom fashions two silver bullets out of a dollar coin, believing that silver could harm the shape-shifting clown, but attempts to use the gun prove unsuccessful.
Bill Denbrough: "YOU KILLED MY BROTHER, YOU FUCKER!"
Taking on the form of a werewolf, IT then corners Bill, but before the boy can defend himself, Ben stands in the way, allowing Beverley to shoot a silver slug from a slingshot. The Losers Club then follow Pennywise into the sewers of Derry where it retreats after the silver causes IT injury.
Once the children confront Pennywise underground, things take an even stranger turn. Now that the silver bullets have been used, the only way left for Bill to defeat the clown is to enter IT's mind through the Ritual of Chüd. With the help of an ancient Turtle called Maturin that possesses god-like power (that's not even the weirdest part), Bill engages in a psychic battle with Pennywise, repelling IT and temporarily forcing the monster back into its slumber.
27 years later, the Dancing Clown returns, forcing a now grown-up Losers Club to reunite and defeat Pennywise once more through the Ritual of Chüd. This time though, the stakes are far higher — IT has laid eggs which are about to hatch. Our heroes ultimately succeed after Bill crushes IT's heart with his bare hands, but Eddie Kaspbrak loses his life along the way.
Could The Gun Play A Different Role In The IT Movie Adaptation?
In the book, Zack Denbrough's SSPK-Walther pistol does little harm to Pennywise thanks to the monster's regenerative abilities. What if Muschietti decided to change this in his movie adaptation though?
After all, the Ritual of Chüd is a rather bizarre concept. Like much of King's work, these kind of elements work surprisingly well on the page, but don't always translate well to screen. Even fans who loved the TV adaptation of IT from the '90s usually bemoan the spider transformation at the end, so there's a chance that Muschietti may change the more challenging aspects of the novel in his version of the story.
If that's true, then the gun's prominence in this second trailer could foreshadow its importance in the film's final release, perhaps even helping the Losers club deliver a near-fatal blow to Pennywise. However, it's also possible that the gun was simply included in the trailer for its visual impact. Nothing screams shit is about to go down like a gang of small children biking their way through suburbia with guns and bullets strapped to their belts.
Muschietti will be making a huge gamble if he changes the story of IT too much. Sure, the new and creepier version of Pennywise has been received well so far, but if too much is altered from Stephen King's source material, then fans of the author's numerous books, movies and TV shows may prove to be more of a nightmare than Pennywise ever was.
Will the gun play a key role in defeating Bill Skarsgard's version of Pennywise?
(Poll Image Credit: New Line Cinema)