In 1990, a live-action adaptation of Stephen King's It was broadcast on TV that forever altered everyone's perception of clowns. The two-part event not only created iconic imagery that frightens people to this day, but also kicked off an influx of King adaptations on screens both big and small throughout the '90s.
One of this year's most hotly anticipated films is the R-rated theatrical adaptation of the book, whose teaser trailer was just released. Although it might be too early to determine how good the first installment in the adaptation will be, there are a few clues that the trailer give us an idea of what to expect when the film hits theaters on September 8.
Some fans believe that there didn't need to be another live-action version of the story, but so far, the teaser has us pretty excited.
Are you looking forward to this new It adaptation? Tell us why in the comments!
Honors the Original
With many adaptations that have had previous versions, the most recent one will attempt to completely distance itself from anything audiences might be familiar with so it doesn't feel repetitive. Luckily, this version of It not only recreates some iconic shots from the '90 film, but also makes specific references to the book, such as events are set in Derry, ME (a popular locale for Stephen King stories), a sign for Jackson Street (the exact street from the book), and one scene features a poster that says, "Read a Book," encouraging audiences to seek out the source material. What other references did you spot?
The original adaptation was produced for television, which meant it had many limitations. This meant it had to be heavily censored and some of the book's more intense scenes needed to be cut. In one respect, this meant that the film could create tension by avoiding showing the more gruesome scenes, but with a theatrical version, the filmmakers can get much more gruesome. Case in point, Pennywise is no longer a playful clown whose personality makes him scary, but the theatrical version can make him the monstrous being conveyed in the novel, inspiring new nightmares for audiences.
Feels Strangely Familiar
Last year's Netflix original series Stranger Things was one of the most-talked about genre events of the year, gaining massive amounts of critical success and creating a devoted fanbase. One of the reason people loved it so much was that it reminded them of the works of Stephen Spielberg and Stephen King, tapping into many genre fans' childhoods. For audiences who aren't as familiar with Stephen King, this trailer is bound to draw comparisons to Stranger Things, which is aided by Finn Wolfhard being in the cast. Of course, we all know that King did King before Stranger Things did King, but with the Netflix show dominating the pop culture zeitgeist, uniformed viewers will jump to the most recent point of reference.
It Looks Like A Movie
In addition to censorship, one complaint about the '90 It is that it looks like it was a made-for-TV movie. Granted, it was a made-for-TV movie, which means the film couldn't capture the epic scale of the journey that took place over multiple decades. Directed by Andrés Muschietti, who also did 2013's overlooked disturbing fairy tale Mama, the imagery alone is enough to unsettle audiences.
Keeping Pennywise Hidden
The single most iconic and memorable element about It is Pennywise, the nightmarish clown. Images have been released of Bill Skarsgård in full makeup, so the filmmakers aren't trying to keep him hidden, but in the teaser, we only see him in a few shots and is mostly obscured. The filmmakers could have easily filled the teaser with the killer clown just to sell tickets, but not giving audiences the clown in all his glory shows they know how to show restraint with their big villain.
One of the most compelling elements of the story's narrative is that it spans decades, with children experiencing horrifying events that they revisit as adults. It shrouded the story in mystery, with the audience always wondering exactly what happened to the kids when they're younger. With the story being separated into two films, it doesn't look like there will be and shifts in time, at least based on this one trailer. Things could change in the editing room before the films' releases but, at this point, we can't help but wonder how a lack of flashback storytelling will affect the narrative.