Stephen King's 1986 novel IT, also known as the TV miniseries that single-handedly triggered Coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) in children everywhere, is set to start filming its two-part silver screen debut this summer.
Even better, Pennywise's imminent return will be directed by Cary Fukunaga, the man in charge of producing and directing HBO's critically acclaimed crime series [True Detective](series:755331). So we know that King's work will be in the hands of someone who can masterfully handle the macabre.
According to one of the producers, Seth Grahame-Smith, in an interview with EW, Fukunaga and his writing partner already have a script in the works.
We’re going to get a draft, what is supposed to be the shooting [script], any day now from Cary and his writing partner. We’re doing a deal for them to write the second movie. Our hope is to prep sometime in the next few months and shoot in the summer. That one is as much on the runway as we can possibly be. I know New Line is ready to go.
The first part will likely feature the group of kids facing off against the bloodthirsty clown Pennywise, while the second has them reuniting to face their childhood nemesis once again.
Grahame-Smith also stated that we can expect a new level of viciousness we didn't quite see with the '90s TV miniseries and hope that, other than instilling the fear of clowns into future generations, the new movies will aim to revitalize the adaptations of King's work.
I think that if anything, [the new film] will bring back some of the viciousness of the book that they couldn’t do with the miniseries because it was for broadcast.
I think it’s going to be very scary, but I also feel like you’ve got Cary who is going to direct these kids—and he’s incredible at casting, incredible at shooting. He’s incredible with tone and atmosphere. One of the things I wanted to do is be a part of one of the really good King adaptations. As we know, there is an echelon of King adaptations that are classics. There are some that are okay. There are some that we’d rather forget.
Grahme-Smith definitely has a point. While the 1990 miniseries has been scaring children and adults alike for years, it was toned down from King's R-rated novel. Also, a lot of what made the two-part series good can be attributed to Tim Curry's terrifying take on Pennywise. Can anyone top Curry's performance? I guess only time will tell!
While I'm personally very happy to see IT coming back to the screen, and subsequently my nightmares, there is some discussion regarding the choice to adapt IT again, as opposed to taking a chance on King's other works such as his magnum opus The Dark Tower series. Not to say that Dark Tower being snubbed should diminish the success of the new IT, but it's still something worth thinking about, Hollywood.
Either way, Cary Fukunaga at the helm of a Stephen King adaptation sounds like a recipe for success. I will be there in the theater watching this one through my hands. What do you guys think about a new IT adaptation? Will it cause you to relive some childhood fears? Be sure to let me know in the comments section.