After a year of inexplicable creepy clown sightings in the real world, the grandaddy of all freaky clowns – namely, Pennywise the Clown – arrives on the big screen later this year, when IT hits theaters. The first trailer for the Stephen King novel adaptation is now online, following the IT teaser’s debut at SXSW 2017 earlier this month; not to mention, a week’s worth of teases from IT director Andrés Muschietti (Mama) and his sister/producing partner, Barbara Muschietti.
Andrés Muschietti’s R-Rated IT film adaptation is scripted by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle) and is based on the first half of King’s source material; wherein a group of friends (who form a pack known as the Losers’ Club) are terrorized by a creature that takes on the appearance of a clown, known as Pennywise. Bill Skarsgård (Hemlock Grove) plays Pennywise in the film, taking over a role that for an older generation, was defined by Tim Curry’s simultaneously funny and unnerving performance in the 1990s TV miniseries adaptation of King’s original book.
Similar to the most recent images from Muschietti’s IT adaptation released online, the teaser trailer refrains from revealing Skarsgård’s Pennywise and his sinister appearance in full; instead opting to spotlight the unsettling tone and troubling atmosphere that permeates throughout the film. This shouldn’t be the case in the actual movie though, based on Muschietti’s previous observation that “There’s supposed to be a less-is-more thing in horror… With Pennywise, it’s like, ‘This is the monster, I’m showing it to you… and you’re going to sh*t a brick.’”
This teaser also recreates iconic moments from King’s story; including, the infamous rainy day encounter between Pennywise and Losers’ Club member Bill’s (Jaeden Lieberher) younger brother, Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott). Of course, there are big differences between King’s novel and Muschietti’s movie; namely, King’s book takes place in the 1950s, whereas the latter picks up with the Losers’ Club as kids in the late 1980s. The difference in timeline in the film version of IT will allow the planned second IT movie (exploring the lives of the Losers’ Club as adults) to take place in the present-day, as King’s novel did when it was first published in 1986.
Whether or not IT is successful enough at the box office to justify making a second film, that remains to be seen. Pop culture has somewhat caught up with King’s novel by now, as the inevitable comparisons between Muschietti’s film and the descendants of King’s source material, most notably the Netflix hit series Stranger Things (both of them costar Finn Wolfhard, no less) will illustrate. Nevertheless, Muschietti demonstrated a knack for crafting solid horror parables about childhood with his efforts on Mama and he may yet deliver a memorable rendition of King’s book here, if this teaser is any indicator of what to expect.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema