The 1990 TV miniseries version of Stephen King's massive horror tome IT is widely considered a classic, largely thanks to Tim Curry's memorable performance as Pennywise the Clown. New Line hopes there is still room in the world for a proper big-screen version of the creepy tale, as a feature film version of IT focusing on the adolescent Losers Club has wrapped filming and is set for a September 2017 release - and yes, it will have an R-rating.
The new Pennywise is played by Bill Skarsgard and early glimpses of the character promise that at least visually, this take on the classic sewer-dwelling, kid-terrorizing monster will be enough to inspire nightmares. But what about those plans for IT to be followed up by a second IT film that jumps ahead in time to deal with the first movie's adolescent characters as adults? The original book deals with both time-lines and at 1,100 pages, is certainly long enough to warrant a two-movie adaptation.
Producer Dan Lin talked last year about his plans to explore both the young and old versions of the Losers Club:
If you look at the book, it’s the part of the book that we have not yet explored. The book we really broke down into two parts. The first part is this movie and if audiences react to this movie in the way we hope they will and I think they will, then we’ll be to tell the adult story as well.
As of yet there is no confirmation about a start-date for a planned second IT movie, but there is at least one tidbit of information that could indicate the film is going ahead. According to an entry on My Entertainment World, the second half of IT (working title Accordian) is set to go before cameras starting on March 17th, 2017 in Toronto. If indeed IT Part 2 is a go, producers must be confident that the movie's first installment will click with audiences. But of course, nothing is confirmed at this stage.
Even if IT Part 2 never comes to fruition, it's going to be a big next couple of years for Stephen King fans. In addition to IT, that big-screen version of The Dark Tower starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey is coming along with a trailer soon to arrive. Netflix is also set to air a version of King's diminutive thriller Gerald's Game that King himself has praised. Though a promised movie version of The Stand is currently officially on-hold, director Josh Boone is still hoping to make the project happen.
Though the epic length of IT justifies the story being split into two movies, there are economic reasons why this approach might be something of a gamble. A few years ago movie studios started the trend of spreading adapted works across multiple films, with the trilogy version of The Hobbit being the most extreme example of this, but recently studios have begun shying away from the approach. The game-changing moment arguably happened last year, when the third Divergent movie (based on the first half of the third Divergent novel) underperformed at the box office, leaving the Divergent movie franchise's future in question.
Of course, the budget for IT even as two movies will come nowhere near the films mentioned above, making it somewhat less of gamble than it might first appear. Horror movies in general are usually good bets at the box office, and if IT does even modestly well, a sequel would be inevitable anyway. One day down the road, there may even be a complete cut of IT that weaves together the two time-lines, like in King's source material.
Source: My Entertainment World
- IT (2017) release date: Sep 08, 2017