by Kerry Torpey ’19
The prayers of horror movie fans everywhere were answered on March 29, as the first trailer for the latest remake of the hit Stephen King novel It debuted. Having already smashed records with just a trailer release, It has quickly become one of 2017’s most highly anticipated films.
It was in 1986 that the world met Pennywise, the horrifying shapeshifter and villain in Stephen King’s equally terrifying novel, It. The novel follows the story of a group of seven children who call themselves “The Loser’s Club,” as they defend themselves against Pennywise’s powers.
About every three decades, Pennywise emerges from darkness to murder the children living in Derry, Maine. As a shapeshifter, It changes form to fit whatever It’s latest victim’s fears are. It utilizes trickery by frequently appearing as a clown in order to lure young children into It’s traps.
It first transitioned from page-to-screen for a 1990 ABC mini-series of the same name. Nominated for two Primetime Emmys, the series received positive reviews, particularly for Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise.
King described his expectations for the series as “in the basement.” He told Yahoo, “Here was a book that sprawled over 1,000 pages, and they were going to cram it into four hours, with commercials. But the series really surprised me by how good it was. It’s a really ambitious adaptation of a really long book.”
The movie adaptation of It has been a long time coming. It took years to pin down a director willing to attach himself or herself to the film. According to Slate.com, director of the hit HBO series True Detective Cary Fukunaga was attached to It “as early as 2009” before separating from the film due to “clashes with the studio and refusing to accept major budget cuts.”
It was not until 2015 that Andrés Muschietti, who is best known for his work on the horror film Mama, signed on with Warner Bros./New Line Cinema to direct the film.
Will Poulter (We’re the Millers, The Maze Runner) was initially favored for the role of Pennywise but could not commit due to scheduling conflicts. In the end, Bill Skarsgård, who is best known for his roles in Simply Simon and Hemlock Grove, took on the role.
Another notable cast member includes Finn Wolfhard, who is best known for his role as Mike on the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things.
Upon its release, the trailer for the film has gone viral. According to Sarah Ahern of Variety, the trailer has “raced past” the trailer for the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, The Fate of the Furious. In 24 hours, the It trailer received 197 million views, surpassing The Fate of the Furious by 58 million views.
A lot of buzz came from those on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Particularly on Twitter, Pennywise, It, and the red balloon emoji were trending.
Stephen King has given the latest adaptation his approval, saying the creators have done “a wonderful job with production.” With that, fans now eagerly await the film’s release on Sept. 8.