2017 is a fantastic year to be a Stephen King fan. Not only is he releasing two new books. One of his most divisive movies “The Mist” is coming to the small screen. “Geralds Game” will be getting the Netflix treatment. If this wasn’t enough two of his biggest books are getting the cinematic treatment. “The Dark Tower” and “IT” will both be getting released this year and as Stephen Kings second biggest fan I cannot wait.
Respect The Past
This is not the first time that “IT” has been given the celluloid treatment. In 1990, viewers were treated to a terrifying performance from Tim Curry as the child-eating clown Pennywise. Whilst remembered fondly by most, the “IT” mini-series was not without problems. For fans of the book, it deviated from the source material and downplayed the true horrors of Pennywise. The second half is also regarded as weaker due to the special effects and slightly rushed ending.
The original series took place over two feature-length episodes. The first part focusing on the “Losers Club” in the 1950’s. The second taking place 27 years later where the remaining members of the club must face their fears a second time. The child actors who stole the spotlight truly captured the characters they were portraying. With Seth Green and Emily Perkins going on to make names for themselves within the horror genre and beyond.
However, it was Tim Curry who shone the brightest with his truly terrifying performance of Pennywise The Clown. Naturally, when news broke that a remake was in the works, it was greeted with trepidation. It was felt by the majority that nobody could top his performance.
Embracing The Future
On September 8th, 2017 the new movie will be released. Anyone who has followed the film over social media has seen the pictures of Bill Skarsgård as the new Pennywise. As a fan of the book, I’m over the moon at how creepy they’ve gone with the look. Tim Curry’s Pennywise was iconic and it was a good decision to move away from the bright colors.
Not only will this help audiences separate the two versions but it allows the new Pennywise looks like a clown from your worst nightmares. Although the trailer doesn’t give away much about the movie, it has been stated that the first part will only focus on the children’s encounter with “IT”. Leaving all the focus on the adults to a second film. This will allow the movie to work on building the characters and allow the audience to bond with them fully. This was a smart move, “IT” is such a large tale that trying to fit the two timelines would bog down a single movie. This freedom allows for a deeper connection to the original encounter.
“We All Float Down Here”
Director Andres Muschietti has promised that the movie will be a lot closer to the book than that 1990 mini-series. Many believe the decision to move the setting from the 1950’s to the late 1980’s won’t allow them to stick closely to the source material. In the book, the setting of the 50’s played largely into the childhood fears with monsters such as “The Mummy” and “I Was A Teenage Werewolf”.
However, after the success of Stranger Things, the 80’s are a lot more accessible to a modern audience than the 1950’s are. Finn Wolfhard, who many saw in 80’s extravaganza “Stranger Things” will be also be joining the cast as Richie Tozier. He is the only cast member to have stayed with the movie after original director Carl Fukunaga’s left. Having already enamored himself to audiences in the Netflix hit it feels that his presence on the movie will be a high point.
“Promise You’ll Come Back”
There is no denying that the 90’s version of IT is a milestone in horror for a lot of people. Tim Curry’s performance of Pennywise was so frightening that even the majority of cast and crew avoided him during filming. The clown shoe’s he left to fill are big ones. However judging from the popularity of the teaser people are ready for a new nightmare. Bill Skarsgård is no stranger to the horror genre after appearing in Hemlock Grove. Despite barely appearing in the record-breaking trailer (197 million views in 24 hours globally!) this new version of Pennywise will be haunting many nightmares.
I first read the novel “IT” when I was 13 years old. I’ve been a fan of the book for a number of years. The mini-series is one of my favorite King adaptations. I’ve followed this movie closely for years over social media. I was originally dubious of the need for a remake it’s become my most anticipated movies of 2017. Ultimately Stephen King himself has branded the movie a “wonderful job”. If he’s happy with it, then I cannot wait for opening night!