With the recent release of the trailer for the upcoming movie remake of Stephen King’s IT, a lot of speculation and questions have arisen among the public as to why yet another ‘remake’ is in the works, especially when the ‘original’ is a classic. Whilst we live in an age where original content is few and far between in blockbuster cinema, people are quick to forget the true breadth of the film industry outside of Hollywood and also, how in mainstream cinema, some remakes/reboots and the like are necessary.
IT falls within this category, we believe, and whilst many may argue otherwise, there are plenty of reasons as to why we can make this statement.
Before we go any further, we must mention that Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown is somewhat irreplaceable. He has become one of the most well-known horror icons in film history and has instilled a fear of clowns among many across the generations. We think the reason the new IT movie has become so controversial is down to (what we like to call) the Joker effect. For many, Jack Nicholson was the perfect Joker, no one could touch him, and when Heath Ledger was announced as the next in line to play him, no one thought he could beat Nicholson’s performance. What happened afterwards, not one person could have predicted – Ledger posthumously won an Oscar for his performance as the Joker, and his version of the character has become so iconic, many forgot about how good Nicholson was. They took the character in a completely different direction, so no comparisons or similarities could be drawn, and both versions of the character will stand the test of time.
Above: Tim Curry as Pennywise in the original series
As we have all seen from the official images and the newly released trailer, the character of Pennywise is being taken in a new direction to that of Curry’s. We have got Bill Skarsgard taking on the challenge, a much younger actor, with equally as unique a look as Tim Curry.
Originally the role was to be given to British born Will Poulter, however with the departure of Cary Fukunaga from the project, Poulter’s involvement also dissolved. Andy Muschietti took over the project and brought in Skarsgard, and from the released images, a better person could not have been chosen. They have created a perfectly eerie depiction of Pennywise, with a ghostly element about him. Seeing as he is an evil being that has been around for centuries, we wouldn’t expect his costume to be so bright and colourful as the one in the original TV movie. Curry’s Pennywise was a far more comical take on the character, really gripping on to the idea that he draws children in with his innocent image as a clown, to then transform into the evil creature he is. In the upcoming movie they appear to have really focused on the scary side of this villain, and it has got us very excited.
The first IT mini-series is something that brings up childhood nostalgia and terror, but when we do revisit this adaptation, we see just how bad it really is. It has become a cult classic, but largely due to Curry’s performance – if you take him out of the equation, what do you have left? The rest of it is not worthy enough to maintain the quality throughout the rest of the series that he holds during his time on screen. The adaptation itself was sloppy, changing little parts, cutting out some important parts from the book and simply not making it scary enough.
This new version of IT is necessary because we deserve a true and decent adaption of this Stephen King favourite, and one of the most horrifying stories of his career.
From what we know, the movie being released later this year will be part 1 of 2 and focus on the children’s story first of all. This is one of few books which deserves the split in adaptation as it does have a natural divide in that it follows the characters as children and later as adults, each with their own story arc to make an action-packed film from both perspectives.
This first film will follow The Losers Club as they discover the monster lurking in the sewers of Derry, their run-ins with their mutual bully, Henry Bowers and how they pull through their own struggles with childhood and family. There is so much rich detail that can be taken from the book to include in this part of the story, that even a film focused solely on the children won’t do the book justice, but we can only hope that they make it work as best they can.
We have high hopes for the cast, which includes Finn Wolfhard of last year’s smash hit Stranger Things, and from pictures of the Losers Club together, a similar style to Stranger Things can already be seen. The Netflix smash hit brought back that nostalgic look on children and adventure that we haven’t seen in a long time, and IT looks to continue that and pay homage to the original Losers Club which we so dearly wanted to be a part of.
There has been a very prolonged online presence of the making of the movie, and when the trailer was finally released, it smashed all kinds of records – including the most views of an online trailer in the first 24 hours (197 million to be exact). It has topped this list, is the first horror movie to appear on the list, has the highest view count for a 2017 movie release, highest view count for an R-rated movie, and is the first movie with a budget under $55 million to appear on the list. Things couldn’t look better for Muschietti…
We cannot wait for the new movie to be released, and hope to be scared out of our wits. IT will be released in cinemas on 8 September 2017.
You can view the trailer here, if you dare…