Who else has robbed the world of sleep as much as Stephen King? Having created such haunting characters as Pennywise, Carrie White, and Annie Wilkes, the prolific author has been celebrated as the undisputed King of Horror for good reason. After all, one only has to take a quick glance at his schedule of upcoming TV and movie adaptations to see King's undeniable impact on pop culture/our sanity. However, out of all the Stephen King stories that threaten to scare us in the coming months, none will match the sickening grandeur of the IT movie adaptation which will soon float into cinemas worldwide.
Aside from The Dark Tower saga, IT is regarded by many as King's magnum opus, instilling an unshakeable fear of clowns in any who read all of the book's 1000+ pages in their entirety. From the Losers' Club, who battle Pennywise, to the Dancing Clown himself, IT is held dear by fans, so the idea of changing anything from the original text is riskier than sailing paper boats down the streets of Derry. However, new plot details have now emerged that suggest Andres Muschietti's movie may actually improve upon the original.
(Penny)Wise Up To These Improved Plot Changes
A new image from French magazine Mad Movies has provided coulrophobes with their best look yet at Bill Skarsgård in the role of Pennywise, reminding us once again how director Andres Muschietti has deviated from the more innocent look that the Dancing Clown took on in the book and '90s TV adaptation. Although some fans argued that our new version of Pennywise should look less horrifying, luring children in with his innocent demeanor before devouring them, the reality is that Muschietti needed to differentiate Skarsgård from Tim Curry's iconic version somehow — and it's about time that a cinematic Pennywise lived up to the horror of the book in full.
However, that's not all we've learned. EW has also unveiled some new images of IT, revealing both set pictures and concept art that feature our closest look yet at Pennywise's lair. Amidst the grime and poor Betty Ripsom's shoe are a number of disturbing trinkets left over from past kills, including a roller skate and a bouncing ball that remind us of Pennywise's appetite for children.
Director Andres Muschietti described how this setting would be involved in the final act of his movie to EW, explaining:
"The final confrontation happens in the lair where Pennywise lives, a big cistern, a circular space that resembles a cooling tower."
Concept art reveals how Stuttering Bill and Beverley Marsh were originally going to descend into the sewers of Derry first, but as we've already seen in the trailer, this is no longer the case in the final cut. Muschietti explained how these changes will play out:
"He [Bill] actually comes in with some of the Losers. Richie and Eddie. And they meet Ben in that scene."
Beep Beep, Georgie!
What's most interesting about these changes though is what motivates the Losers' Club to risk their lives in the first place. In Stephen King's original novel, the children unite to seek revenge for Bill Denbrough's brother Georgie's death, who was devoured on the streets of Derry in the book's opening chapter. While this key plot point remains, Muschietti revealed to EW that in his version of the story, Bill doesn't know for sure that Georgie is dead, so their descent into Pennywise's lair is instead driven by their search for a missing Georgie.
This might sound like a rather small detail, but by changing the reason why the Losers' Club fights Pennywise in the first place, Muschietti has reinvented the entire dynamic of the movie, setting Bill up for even more pain when he finally encounters the "Evil Georgie" that scared us shitless in the trailer. It was already harrowing to see Bill meet an undead facsimile of Georgie in the book, but now that comes with the added horror of realizing that his brother is dead for the first time.
Those who fear that Muschietti may change too much should have nothing to worry about though. Aside from removing the already questionable child orgy that takes place in the sewers, the movie adaptation of IT actually seems to remain rather faithful to Stephen King's work in most other respects — well, if the trailers are anything to go by, at least.
Although we don't know yet whether or not these changes work out, it's hard to deny that Muschietti is almost as brave as the Losers' Club themselves. Concessions had to be made in order to fit the childhood sections of the book into one film, and if Muschietti had followed the text religiously that would have been impossible. Fans should be reassured by the fact that Stephen King himself is pleased with the final results and although Bill's brother Alex Skarsgård may have a more unusual take on the changes made, it looks like the inevitable success of IT could be the first chapter in a whole new universe of Stephen King movies and shows.
Do you think Andres Muschietti should make these changes to the movie adaptation of IT (2017)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!