It seems like a new Stephen King adaptation hits our screens every other day, but of all his creations, It is arguably the scariest of them all. Released in 1986, King's It was celebrated as an instant classic, but it wasn't until Tim Curry donned the infamous clown makeup in the popular TV adaptation that Pennywise truly became the stuff of nightmares.
Pennywise is a monstrous creation, rivaling even King's pet corgi Molly a.k.a. The Thing of Evil. However, despite his horrifying impact on pop culture, the demonic clown has still had to wait patiently down in the sewer drains for a faithful cinematic adaptation of his exploits.
Well, it looks like those of you who suffer from a severe case of coulrophobia may need to start thinking about avoiding cinemas and balloon shops alike, as Pennywise the Dancing Clown will be floating up from the sewers to hit a theater near you very soon.
'It' Movie News, Rumors & Updates
[UPDATED 07/21/17] — You'll Float Too
A horrifying new poster for IT has arrived at SDCC this year, shrouding Pennywise in mist as he follows the Losers' Club across the streets of Derry. This is particularly fitting ,given how the Dancing Clown was recently referenced in TV's latest Stephen King adaptation, The Mist.
Eye-Rolling Image Of Pennywise On Set
A new set image that has leaked online reveals a truly horrifying look at Pennywise the Dancing Clown. While Tim Curry's version from the '90s TV adaptation was more sinister than outright terrifying, Bill Skarsgard looks genuinely insane in his interpretation of the role.
Did The 'It' Trailer Take Inspiration From 'Stranger Things'?
Stranger Things was heavily influenced by the work of Stephen King, but does this connection run both ways? The new '80s setting depicted in the IT trailer suggests that it does.
'It' Trailer Is The Most Viewed Trailer Of All Time
We knew that horror fans were hyped to finally see the first trailer for It, but no one could have predicted quite how much audiences were willing to float with Pennywise. In just 24 hours, It broke all trailer records with an astonishing 197 million views, smashing the previous total of 139 million which was held by The Fate of the Furious. The pressure's on now, Muschietti!
- Twitter's Reaction To Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise In The 'It' (2017) Movie Trailer Will Leave You Floating With Joy
Stephen King Is A Fan of The 'It' Remake
Stephen King is notoriously critical of movies based on his novels, but we're happy to report that the King of Horror wholeheartedly recommends the upcoming It remake. How does Pennywise's return compare to other classic King adaptations though?
- Stephen King Has Seen The New 'It' Remake - How Does He Think It Stacks Up With His Other Film Adaptations?
It (2017) Movie Release Date
We know for a fact that the It movie release date has been scheduled for September 8, 2017, but what's still unclear is when the adult-based sequel will reach our screens.
It (2017) Movie Trailer
- How Does 'It' (2017) Compare To Stephen King's Book & TV Adaptation? Trailer Breakdown Reveals Easter Eggs Galore
While we wait for It to be released, also check out the mysterious teaser trailer that Hulu just released for a King themed show called #CastleRock. Pennywise's reach may extend beyond just the residents of Derry after all...
- All The Easter Eggs & Stephen King Book References In The 'Castle Rock' Trailer: What Will It Be About?
It (2017) Movie Plot
So far, little has been revealed about the specifics of the It movie plot, but reports suggest the the remake will stick close to the original source material. The novel follows a group of children called The Losers' Club and their battle against the sadistic clown Pennywise, who can change his form to exploit the deepest fears of his victims.
The novel shifts back and forth between the past and the present, exploring how the kids first discover Pennywise, and then return as adults to destroy him for good. The two different time periods used in the novel are the '50s and '80s, so it currently seems that the new film will only explore the earlier setting, branching out into the adult's fight with Pennywise in the sequel.
- Could 'It’s' Pennywise Visit 'The Dark Tower'? Here's How A Stephen King Cinematic Universe Could Happen
It (2017) Movie Cast & Characters
Out of every cast member and character involved in the original TV adaptation, Tim Curry made the role of Pennywise his own, freaking out an entire generation. Thus, his successor in the It movie cast certainly has large, clown-sized shoes to fill. The success of the It remake will depend hugely on the role of Pennywise, so it's somewhat worrying that the casting process has undergone a number of changes already.
Originally, Will Poulter was officially cast in the role, but when director Cary Fukunaga left the project, the schedule changed, forcing Poulter to reluctantly give up the part. Rumors of Kirk's Acevedo's casting were eventually dispelled when the studio confirmed that Bill Skarsgård has now been officially given the part of Pennywise, swapping out his Hemlock Grove vampire teeth for some creepy clown makeup and a squeaky red nose.
Skarsgård is less famous than his brother Alexander (True Blood, The Legend of Tarzan) or his father Stellan (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Avengers), but that all looks set to change very soon.
Prior to this casting, Skarsgård was most famous for his role in Hemlock Grove and for playing Matthew in The Divergent Series: Allegiant. The 26 year-old star is 18 years younger than Curry was when the original Pennywise first appeared in the 1990 TV adaptation, so it will be interesting to see whether the studio's decision to cast younger will pay off.
It's not all about Pennywise though — many of the It movie characters have now been cast. Hot on the heels of Skarsgård's casting followed the announcement that Jaeden Lieberher has been cast as the leader of The Losers' Club, Bill Denbrough, who was played by Jonathan Brandis in the TV adaptation.
Since then, the childhood cast of It has grown more and more promising by the day. Joining Lieberher are a number of other confirmed cast members, including Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor.
It (2017) Movie Theories
While it's hard to devise It movie theories when we don't know many plot specifics for It just yet, it appears that Pennywise may double up on the scares by also visiting the town of Castle Rock in Stephen King's upcoming TV collaboration with Hulu.
Sure, the evil clown is mentioned in the show's first teaser trailer, but the problem here is that Pennywise never visited Castle Rock in the novel. However, that's not to say that the demonic villain couldn't have left Derry before or even in between his battles with The Losers' Club, paying the sewers of Castle Rock a visit too.
- All The Easter Eggs & Stephen King Book References In The 'Castle Rock' Trailer: What Will It Be About?
Is The Sequel To Part One Of 'It' In Jeopardy?
This week, we also discovered that the fate of the second half of the adaptation is far from clear. The It movie adaptation was always rumored to unfold in two parts — one that starred The Losers' Club as children, and one that followed their battle against Pennywise into Hollywood.
But while speaking to Collider, producer Dan Lin revealed that It: Part Two isn't guaranteed:
"If audiences react to this movie in the way that we hope they will and we think they will, then we'll be able to tell the adult story as well."
However, the web site My Entertainment World has now added an It movie sequel to their production listings, initially suggesting that the second part will begin filming on March 17, 2017. Featured under the secret title of 'Accordion' the synopsis for this sequel certainly fits everything we know so far;
"A promise made twenty-eight years ago calls seven adults to reunite in Derry, Maine, where as teenagers they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Unsure that their Losers Club had vanquished the creature all those years ago, the seven had vowed to return to Derry if IT should ever reappear."
Clearly, some miscommunication had occurred, but fortunately director Andrés Muschietti cleared the situation up once and for all at SXSW 2017.
When asked whether the sequel would begin filming in March, 2017, Muschietti quickly replied, explaining that;
“No it’s not that. It’s just a complete misinterpretation of the facts. It’s not happening now.”
While this is somewhat disheartening to hear, we wouldn't be surprised to hear more information about the adult casting process some time over the next few months, ready for a summer shoot.
It (2017) Movie Rating
Good news gore hounds! Producer Roy Lee confirmed in an interview with Collider that the It movie will be R-rated. This decision is extremely promising for fans who are tired of seeing their favorite #horror properties watered down for younger audiences in a cynical bid to make money.
Deadpool's success story proved that R-rated properties can be still be successful at the box office if they have a built-in fanbase already. More importantly, this means that film can venture further into the darkness of King's original story than the (still terrifying) TV version ever could.
It (2017) Movie Director
As previously mentioned, the production of It was severely delayed when True Detective director Cary Fukunaga left the project, citing creative differences as the reason behind his departure. However, now that Andrés Muschietti is on board as the It movie director, things are looking far more promising.
Muschietti exploded onto the scene with a terrifying short called Mamá, which attracted the attention of Guillermo del Toro, who then executive produced a feature-length Hollywood version of the film starring Jessica Chastain.
Since the success of his first film, Muschietti has been involved in a number of projects that were never developed or eventually went to a different director, including The Mummy reboot, a He-Man remake and the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. Despite his past bad luck, Muschietti's return to the genre that made his name is still promising news indeed.
But Why Did Fukunaga Leave In The First Place?
In an interview with Variety, Cary Fukunaga opened up about the reasons behind his departure from the film, saying:
"I was trying to make an unconventional horror film.. It was the creative that we were really battling... They wanted archetypes and scares... 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 certainly doesn't bode well for Muschietti's new version of It, as Fukunaga's interview suggests that the studio will try their best to tone down the scares. However, it's worth bearing in mind that this interview was originally conducted in September, 2015, and a lot has clearly changed since then.
Muschietti's original short film is a daring exercise in authentically scary horror, and the recent casting news has intrigued us as well. With that in mind, we're both cautiously optimistic and extremely excited to see that crazy guy in a clown suit when It reaches theaters on September 8, 2017.
What's your favorite Stephen King movie adaptation?