The 2017 IT movie could very well be a controversial one among fans. It is, after all, a readaptation of the massive Stephen King novel that has already spawned one TV movie from 1990 so beloved it’s getting a retrospective documentary. Perhaps because of this legacy, the film’s taken a while to get off the ground, going through multiple directors and stars.
Now everything’s wrapped and the finished movie just a little over six months away, however, all word seems pretty positive. King himself (notoriously hard-to-please when it comes to versions of his work) said the film is “wonderful” and every look at Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise suggest something just as striking as Tim Curry’s legendary version. It’s a very different look, fitting of the movie taking a new approach to the source (it will only adapt the first, childhood-set half of the story, with a sequel expected), although that doesn’t mean there won’t be some iconic moments recreated.
Empire has just released an exclusive image from the IT remake that shows Pennywise tempting young Georgie Denbrough into the sewers.
The scene in the original, where Georgie is chasing a paper boat down an overflowing road only to be confronted by the demonic form from a grate, a pivotal moment early on in the story that introduces the central kids to Pennywise. What’s here looks very similar but, fitting of the new Pennywise, the whole thing is much more unsettling.
Like the previous look at Pennywise, this image looks somewhat like a composition. The shot of the clown in a sewer pipe was mocked for its shading, while here Skarsgård’s placement looks a little off. This may be part of how the movie’s stylistically constructed, but it is an odd recurring element dominating the so-far slight marketing.
Speaking further with Empire, director Andrés Muschietti discussed how he’s handling the presence of the film’s monster, which he finds somewhat counterintuitive:
“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 sh*t a brick.’”
Unlike a slasher villain like Jason Vorhees or Freddy Kreuger or iconic movie monsters such as Jaws or the recent teasing takes on Godzilla, Pennywise appears fully from early on in the story. While that does go against genre convention, it ultimately plays into the character’s inherent horror; being a clown, the scary thing is the possibility of what lies behind the overly happy exterior.
IT is set for release in early September, so a trailer would be expected in the next couple of months. Footage from the movie aired recently at SXSW and sounded pretty intense, so hopes are that, like Muschietti promises, we’ll all “sh*t a brick”.