IT director Andy Muschetti says that Stephen King personally approved the plot changes made when adapting the story to film. Outside of his well-known public beef with Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining – which later led King to make his own miniseries version – the horror master rarely gets too possessive of how his books are translated to film. King seems to carry the general attitude that an adaptation of his work does not necessarily have to adhere to his prose, assuming it still captures the essence of the story.
Altering King’s words is a common task for filmmakers too, as the author is a huge fan of meticulous world-building, which leads to books so long that the hardcover could probably be used as a weapon. IT serves as one of the most extreme examples of King’s tendency towards epic length, clocking in at over 1100 pages. IT’s story is so full of subplots, side characters, and revealing flashbacks that the only real way to adapt the whole thing would be to do it as a limited TV series lasting several seasons.
Related: IT Movie Early Reactions
With that in mind, it’s no surprise to learn that while Muschetti’s R-rated adaptation looks to be much more faithful to the book than the 1990 miniseries was, there were multiple changes made along IT’s journey from page to screen. While fans won’t get to know what all those changes are until the movie comes out later this week, during an interview with Deadline, Muschetti revealed that he got King’s blessing regarding each and every change made to the source material. Here’s his full quote:
“I sent him a handwritten letter, asking for forgiveness, for all the creative license I had taken. He saw the movie and his reaction was immediate. He wrote me an email expressing how much he had liked it and that I shouldn’t worry because all the changes were approved.”
While Muschetti obviously didn’t have to make a personal appeal to King, the fact that he did goes to show just how much respect the director has for the material, and the man who originally wrote it. The above sentiments jive with King’s generally expressed opinions about the new IT film, with the author recently saying that he “was not prepared” for how good it was.
Moviegoers everywhere will find out this weekend whether the changes Muschetti made meet with their own approval, or whether they wish they were back home watching IT (1990) on Blu-ray. Will it float, or will it sink? The answer arrives soon.
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