Stephen King Aimed to Avoid This Horror Cliche With 'IT'

Stephen King's 1986 novel IT has become one of the seminal horror stories of all time, with its popularity helping last year's feature film adaptation shatter a variety of box office records. On the film's Blu-ray release, King revealed that one of his goals with the project was to craft compelling and likable characters, which would make any challenges they faced feel all the more intense.

“One of the things that I wanted to do in the novel, in all of my novels, is to create characters who are fundamentally decent by and large," King shared on the Blu-ray's special features. "That way, you don’t want them to be spam in a cabin. You want them to live and you want them to win.”

Director of the adaptation Andy Muschietti seemed to follow in King's footsteps in that regard, as he made some bold choices with the narrative that stood out from both the original novel and 1990 adaptation.

The story features a group of kids in Derry, Maine who band together to confront a horrifying entity that is stalking the kids of the small town. After confronting the entity, they feel as though they can move on with their lives, only to regroup 27 years later to end the threat once and for all.

In both the novel and 1990 adaptation, the timeline focuses on the adults and incorporates flashbacks to the younger characters. Muschietti instead decided to use this film to focus solely on the young kids and their friendship, with an upcoming sequel featuring the characters as adults as well as incorporating flashbacks.

"I’d say gaining that balance between the moments of terror and the moments of levity," the director told Variety of his decisions to split the timeline. "For me, it was very important to engage people emotionally in the story and this journey and gain an emotional engagement with the characters. That was the most important thing for me going into the shoot — outside of making the film as scary as possible."

The director's challenges aren't over, as the upcoming film presents an all-new set of challenges.

"The thing I want to bring in the next film that I couldn’t do here is the dialogue between the two timelines," Muschietti shared. "That was so important in the book and we didn’t get to explore that here, but I wanted to keep the story of the kids as pure and without interference as I could. The dialogue between those two timelines with all those flashbacks is so important to the book that I want to bring that back."

IT is currently out on Blu-ray. The film's sequel is slated for a September 6, 2019 release.

[H/T Heroic Hollywood]

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