Author Stephen King might be responsible for more screams and scares than any other writer around today. Despite being 69 years old, he still puts out a new book every year, and in Stephen King’s long and veritable career, the master of American horror has gifted popular culture with scores of blood-curdling novels and creepy monsters.
Just think of all the stories he’s responsible for: Carrie, Salem’s Lot, Cujo, The Stand, The Shining, The Mist, Misery, and many more. I must have devoured dozens of his books (and lost around five years’ worth of sleep in the process) but for my money, Stephen King’s best work is the 1986 novel It – famously adapted into a chilling miniseries, which starred Tim Curry from the Rocky Horror Picture Show as the eponymous clown boogeyman.
The novel is based in the New England town of Derry. Derry seems normal on the surface, but the town is haunted by a child-murdering monster, simply named “It”, which commonly takes the form of a sinister jester called “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”. In the book’s version of 1958, a gang of seven kids banded together to confront the terror lurking in the sewers and drive It away, but nearly 30 years later, a series of mysterious slayings brings those kids back home as adults to finish the creature off for good.
The original miniseries traumatised a generation, but now a feature-movie remake looks set to be even creepier, with a new Pennywise and some dizzyingly freaky set pieces. Many were skeptical about whether the new movie would live up to the hype, but a new trailer has thrown into sharp relief just how disturbing the remake really is. Check it out if you dare. I hope you’ve got a spare pair of underwear handy …
The remake of It, scheduled for release on September 8th, 2017, is directed by Andrés Muschietti, and the screenplay written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman. It stars Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Dancing Clown and Jaeden Lieberher as main protagonist Bill Denbrough, alongside Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things as Richie Tozier, with Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Nicholas Hamilton in supporting roles.
The movie has been in development since 2009, and the script required multiple rewrites in order to adapt such a lengthy book (Stephen King’s novel was over 1,000 pages) into the structure of a feature-length movie roughly two hours long.
Commenting on his vision of the novel, director Andrés Muschietti stated: “The way Cary intended to execute the script is something that only he can talk about. I can say my version of It highly emphasizes Pennywise’s most terrifying virtue, which is its ability to materialise into your worse fear; I want to take people in a journey into Pennywise’s world through a disturbing, surrealistic and intoxicating experience that will leave nobody at ease.”