It, the highly anticipated big screen version of Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name, finally floats into theatres on September 8, and fans will undoubtedly be comparing Andrés Muschietti’s new version with Tommy Lee Wallace’s 1990 miniseries adaptation.
In the ABC miniseries, Tim Curry plays Pennywise, the demonic clown who terrorises the fictional New England town of Derry, and evokes menace, terror, dark humor and, possibly, for some people, a lifelong fear of clowns.
Going by the trailers, Muschietti’s vision of Pennywise – apparently based on 19th century clowns – is horrifying. He’s played by Bill Skarsgard – star of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove – who underwent such an extensive make up and costume job that his terrifying appearance – according to a special feature on Interview Magazine – reduced a few child extras to tears.
The movie has generated plenty of pre-release buzz. Back in April, an early trailer grabbed up more than 190 million global views, and broke a record for the most views in 24 hours. And that’s not all. According to Variety, early tracking figures suggest this film will enjoy a $50 million opening – something which would herald a great start to the Fall movie season. Whether the pic’s grosses will reach that number, however, obviously remains to be seen.
King’s novel, which happens to be one of his most loved titles, spans more than one thousand pages. Any responsible filmmaker would have been extremely hard pressed to cram the entire story – which takes place in two different eras – into a two or even three-hour movie. That’s why the story is being split into two separate movies. The upcoming title, set during the 1980s, concerns a group of kids, called The Losers Club, who are forced to confront Pennywise for the first time.
The second chapter takes place thirty years later, and follows the characters- now adults- as they return to Derry for a second go around with Pennywise. Casting has not yet been announced for It: Part 11, but Muschietti says he wants to start shooting next year. We’re guesstimating that the second part could be released late 2018 or early 2019. In any event, we’ll keep you posted – especially when the casting decisions are announced – so keep checking back.