Adapting an 1,110-page novel into a movie is no easy feat—especially when said book is written by Stephen King—but IT director Andy Muschietti thinks his version does the story justice. Over the past few decades, Stephen King has come to be one of the most cultural significant fiction writers in the world. His influence is particularly clear in film and television, as nearly all of his stories have been adapted to the big or small screen. This week, one of his most famous works will receive another incarnation, and critics are already raving about the new version of IT.
Though the movie began with a rocky production, losing both the original director and Pennywise actor, Muschietti's work on IT has been hailed by critics and King himself. In fact, what changes the director—and the film's writers—made to the original story were all cleared by King. Of course, the same was true with The Dark Tower film, and that didn't fair as well. Part of IT's success, however, looks to be from the story of the novel being split in two, thus spreading out the sprawling tale.
Yahoo! Movies spoke with Andy Muschietti recently about how he chose to distill Stephen King's book into the film version of IT, and he had this to say:
"Mainly the process was about identifying the big emotional beats in the story and bringing them into a two-hour movie. Of course taking licences structurally and story-wise to make it consistent with a two-hour movie, that’s from a technical point of view. Especially introducing so many characters; there are seven main characters, we have to introduce them. I guess the challenge, technically, also was doing the introductions of each of the heroes, and also trying to move the story forwards at the same time. So doing all of that was a bit challenging, but I think we did a pretty good job at that."
Obviously, part of the alteration of the story was done in the script process, but it seems that Muschietti had a fair amount of input. By choosing to focus on the journey of the kids and save the remainder of the story for later, IT will deviate from the book which jumps between the two versions of the kids' tale.
As for the follow-up, it will not only focus on the adult versions of the characters but it will also explore the cosmic elements present in King's book. All told, this is a good call as it lets audiences become familiar with the characters and world before plunging them into the deep end. And if the film does as well at the box office as it's projected to, moviegoers will be eager to explore more of IT's story.
Source: Yahoo Movies
- IT (2017) release date: Sep 08, 2017