To say I am excited for the upcoming release of IT, would be a gross understatement. Thanks in large part to just having finished the novel, I have a newfound appreciation for what is one of the ultimate monster stories of all time.
I remember being terrified of the mini series when I was little. My fear of clowns was very prominent then, but my need to prove how brave I was to my brother and cousins by watching it with them was stronger. Many sleepless nights followed.Tim Curry’s rendition of Pennywise traumatized me as a kid. There was no convincing me that blood would not be gushing out of the bathroom sink or that he wouldn’t try to entice me with balloons. It was only a matter of time! I was going to die for sure.
Now I realize that the mini series really isn't all that good, and that the novel is just too good. Not only is the concept of an entity who will take the form of your biggest fear and slaughter you horrifying enough, the way the story unfolds is truly brilliant. Things are woven into one another and thought out seamlessly. The emotional connection that you feel for the characters is so strong, that it helps propel the story forward, and helps drive home how terrifying and messed up Derry, Maine is. I highly recommend reading or getting the audio book. It is storytelling at its greatest, and the Steven Weber narration is magnificent. Which brings me to the September 8 release of the new IT film.
Normally skepticism runs high when it comes to reboots and sequels. I was the first to grunt and complain when talk of this new adaptation began, and following IT news up until now has been a roller coaster ride of dread and excitement. There was a glimmer of hope when it was announced that Cary Joji Fukunaga, who wrote season 1 of True Detective, would be writing and directing. Fukunaga explained that the book would be split up into two different films: one of the Loser’s Club as kids, and the other as them as adults.
Then Fukanaga dropped out of the project, and in comes in Andrés Muschietti who directed Mama, a terrible, awful film, and skepticism skyrocketed. The plan was still to make two films, but Fukunaga’s screenplay was ditched in favor of a new one by Muschietti and Gary Dauberman. Which, it turns out, could be for the better. Fukunaga had planned on making a few changes, but the biggest and most ridiculous was NOT giving Bill Denbrough a stutter. This is crucial to Bill’s character. Although we have yet to see Bill stutter in the trailers, it does seem that Muschietti wrote that in as part of his character. Phew! It seems I was quick to judge.
The chemistry these kids have with one another is beautiful (watch teaser 2 again, just do it because this is what sold me). It all comes across so natural. Each one act the way they are portrayed in the book, and that interaction is crucial to having a successful film. Especially in this one. What I gather from the trailers, it’s pretty spot on. I have since seen each trailer more than a dozen times, and it is hard not to derive correlations from the book and trailers. There is a mention of grey water, the gun, the black spot, Richie’s impersonations (mainly the character he was doing in teaser 2), the leper, the fact that there is an actual house on Neibolt Street this time around! All these things that are in the book, but weren't included, or just glossed over in the mini series, are what’s going to make the difference. The attention to detail is very much appreciated. Not to mention that this film will have an R rating, and from what I could gather, is going to be very bloody.
I wasn't sure how to feel about Pennywise from the first photo that was released, but having seen him in the trailers, he is going to be a fright.
I’m eager to hear what he sounds like. In the audio book, Steven Weber had a bone chilling rendition. My hopes are that Bill Skarsgård , who is cast to play him, can do just a good a voice. The rest of the cast reads as follows:
Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) as Bill Denbrough
Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom
Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh
Finn Wolfhard (+Stranger Things*) as Richie Tozier
Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak
Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon
Wyatt Oleff (Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Young Peter Quill) as Stanley Uris
Nicholas Hamilton (also in The Dark Tower) as Henry Bowers
Owen Teague as Patrick Hockstetter
Logan Thompson as Victor Criss
Jake Sim as Belch Huggins
Javier Botet (The Conjuring 2’s Crooked Man) has also been announced as the Leper: another, non-clown iteration of It. (It-eration?)
This is, of course, the junior half; the adult cast has not yet been announced.
Now, I realize there is a strong possibility that I am setting myself up for disappointment, but in this case, it feels like Andrés Muschietti may be able to do IT justice.
In an interview with Empire magazine, Muschietti had this to say,
"There's supposed to be a less-is-more thing in horror, It's like you're not really meant to show the monster. But Pennywise is different. With Pennywise, it's like, 'This is the monster, I'm showing it to you... and you're going to shit a brick.'"
I am in, I am all in.