The horror movie of 2017 is here. IT might just be one of the scariest films in years, telling the story of seven teenagers going up against an evil entity that’s corrupting their Maine town (whose favorite form just happens to be that of a demented clown). And it’s going to be a big hit; reviews are incredibly positive and it’s expected to have the biggest September opening ever.

But what exactly is IT? There’s the source novel, but also a previous adaptation and, of course, sequel talk out there, so allow us to cut through the confusion and explain what exactly we’re dealing with.

IT Is Based on The First Half of Stephen King’s Novel

Losers Club IT IT Movie: Remake or Readaptation?

IT is, of course, based on a Stephen King novel. Published in 1986, it’s one of the esteemed horror author’s longest and deepest books (it’s over 1000 pages long), following the actions of Pennywise across two time periods – when The Losers are children in the 1950s and as adults in the 1980s. The book cuts back and forth between these two eras slowly letting the story unfold.

The movie is taking on half the job, detailing just the childhood side (updated to now be set in the 1980s). A Chapter 2 that will follow the kids all grown up (and bring in the book’s alternate dimension) is planned, with director Andy Muschietti saying he’ll start work on that next (meaning a 2019 release is likely).

Related: IT Cast Imagines Which Adult Actors Would Play Them In Part 2

IT Is Not A Remake of 1990 TV Miniseries

stephen king s it 1990 review by sandra harris 331827 e1446013811609 IT Movie: Remake or Readaptation?

Now let’s clear up some confusion. This isn’t the first time IT has been adapted; in 1990, ABC aired a two-part miniseries starring Tim Curry that brought the book to life over a three hour runtime. Mostly praised for that central performance, over the years it’s gained cult status (although we don’t think it holds up). The TV movie’s notoriety has led to some describing the new movie as a “remake”.

However, while there’s a similar structure – the miniseries also divided up the children and adult sections into separate episodes, ditching the book’s cutting back and forth – the new film isn’t really a remake at all. The filmmakers have made clear they’ve gone right back to the source (Muschietti has even admitted he’s not a fan of the miniseries) for the 2017 version. In fact, the only reference to the 1990 movie is a Tim Curry easter egg in one scene.

Next: It Review

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