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The Big Screen Adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘It’ Will Make You Shudder

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The Big Screen Adaptation of Stephen King's `It’ Will Make You Shudder
PHOTOGRAPH: Stephanie Lawton | Photo shows Stephen King in 2011.

Pennywise the Clown is all set to bring his evil to the big screen. Stephen King fanatics are eager that the film adaptation of the bestselling author’s lengthy novel, It, is slated to hit cinemas on Sept. 8, 2017.

Bill Skarsgard (from the Netflix horror web television series Hemlock Grove) reprises the role played by Tim Curry in 1990 as the evil clown Pennywise. It was previously made into a two-part TV movie, aired on ABC on Nov. 18 and 20, 1990. The two-part series was filmed in New Westminster, British Columbia in late 1989, and earned Tim Curry good reviews for his performance.

For the 2017 film, a teaser trailer was released last year and a recent image of Pennywise emerging from a sewer pipe caught Stephen King fans’ attention. King’s 1986 book had crafted a terrifying clown image that will live in reader’s minds forever.

As for the movie, Skarsgard promises to take a different route with the character compared to Curry’s portrayal. The upcoming film also stars Steven Williams (X-Files), Javier Botet (The Revenant), Fin Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Megan Charpentier (Resident Evil: Retribution)and Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special).

The movie’s director, Andres Muschietti, described Pennywise’s onscreen presence as “front and center, and he does his show.” The director added that the character has an act. “So it’s weird all the time, and every little thing implies a further threat.”

Improving Upon The Book

Stephen King wrote It, with over a thousand pages in mass market paperback, in the early part of his career back in 1986. It was a time when King was still considered as merely a genre writer. He had not yet written numerous literary works which got published in, say, The New Yorker.

It used themes well-known in horror and also in many of King’s works: childhood friendship and a reunion when the kids have grown into adults, plus an unknown horror lurking in the small town. In It, a group of seven misfit kids who call themselves The Losers come upon an evil being, which takes on the form of Pennywise the Clown, the better to prey on children.

The novel has moments of brilliance, but because of its length, readers are more likely to put the book down before finishing it. The new movie, even more than the previous two-part series, should be more engaging.

Other Film Adaptations of Stephen King Books

Last year, King’s time-travel book, 11.22.63, was also made into an eight-part TV series starring James Franco. Another mysterious and evil character in the King oeuvre, The Man in Black, will also be making his first big-screen appearance and will be portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in the film version of The Dark Tower. The movie has a July 2017 release date and stars Idris Elba as Roland the Gunslinger.

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