Stephen King is one of those names that always perks your ears up when you hear it if you are a horror fan. Since Carrie way back when he was a very young man, his work has often been adapted and brought to the masses in as many ways as possible. Problem is, a lot of Stephen King books don’t always adapt into great films. Stephen King’s It, for example, was GREAT TV movie at the time, but if you watch It now, It doesn’t have legs to stand on outside of Tim Curry’s entrancing performance as the maniacal Pennywise the clown. But now, we are a little less than a month away from the new version of Stephen King’s IT, and rumors are it is WILL be scary, almost relentlessly so.
If you only saw the TV movie or only think IT is about a clown, there is a great deal you don’t know about It, so I figured I would help you out. Here are 8 facts about Stephen King’s It that you MIGHT NOT have known.
Stephen King IT: Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About
Here’s the funny part, if you watch Stephen King’s It TV movie NOW, it is not scary. It is actually kind of cheesy (but was good for the time it came out). But one thing everyone agreed on was Tim Curry’s Pennywise performance was unreal and wholly terrifying.
Come to find out, Gen x’ers have a HUGE fear of clowns that can be traced back to Pennywise, some studies say. That character just hit at a very crucial time in our mental development and just stayed there, nestled like a tick under our skin, just like IT would want.
2) The Book Was Not Inspired By Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy, But Rather, Was Inspired King By Walking Over A Wooden Bridge
Many people thought that Stephen King’s It may have been a shoutout or reference to John Wayne Gacy, the famous clown serial killer (story above) who raped and ate 70+ little boys and buried them under his house.
While the clown idea may be somewhat influenced by that madman’s existence, IT was born MUCH MORE innocently.
King’s car had broken down and he had to talk a few miles to get help in Maine (where he lives, where everything is 30 miles away from everything else). He crossed one of those old, covered wooden bridges and he recalled how in days of yore, it was said trolls would hide under bridges and eat kids and goats. King moved the theoretical troll from under the bridge to under the sewer and under their beds and BOOM, It was born.
The man himself says a great deal of the story came into his mind during that very walk.
3) There Is a Crucial Kid Orgy In the Book We Hopefully Won’t See in The Film
Believe it or not, IT may seem like a monster book, and it IS, but make no mistakes, there are always stronger undercurrents in Stephen King’s books that hide and bury strong messages. It is actually about the loss of innocence, and how we all have to face that and get over the simple fact that no matter how much we hide or deny it, we cannot avoid growing up.
Though in the book, after facing It in the sewers they get lost and come to the odd conclusion that they need to run a train on the little girl in the group so they can find their way out of the maze-like sewers. Not only with her consent, but with the whole thing being her ide as well. It is an intense scene in the sense of what it symbolizes (loss of childhood) but I think it is safe to say they will find a way around that angle in the film.
As crucial as it is to the book, none of us want to see a kid orgy. Well, none of us who deserve to live, anyway.
4) The Leper IS In The Movie This Time
A lot of people were disappointed at the lack of the Leper creature in the TV movie, as he adds another element of “horror” to the story, and I think all readers have always imagined him sorta differently.
And though he was conspicuously absent from that TV movie, he has been cast and confirmed for the movie. Actually really curious to see how it looks on film. Very likely to add to the countless gallons of nightmare fuel this movie will send the audience home feeling.
Hell, the little scene above seems creepy as hell, and we are 1000 feet away. Speaking of “The Leper” and other monsters IT takes the form of…..
5) Expect VERY DIFFERENT Monsters Then The 50’s Hollywood Monsters from the Book and First Movie
The one thing the TV movie didn’t delve into at all was the fact that IT wouldn’t always appear as Pennywise (though that is how it was seen in original It adaptation).
Rather, sometimes he would be monsters that played off the kid’s fears. As IT took place in the 50’s, the monsters we read about reflected that (The Wolfman being a perfect example). Great scene but with a lack of modern day werewolf movies, would that work? And don’t forget, this IT takes place in the 1980’s, which MEANS, the Hollywood monsters they fear will be modern, with rumors going as far as New Line potentially putting Freddy Krueger in as one of the monsters. No joke.
The director has also said he wanted some of the monsters to play of kid’s “basic fears” so it should be interesting to see what fears other than Pennywise the clown and Freddy Krueger that these kids may potentially have to come face-to-face with.
6) How Far Will They Go With the “Bully” Storyline (As It Gets Pretty Messed Up in the Book)?
The main bully in IT is almost as bad as IT itself. Henry Bowers is a despicable villain who does some truly weird shit in the book. We have seen him in the new trailer and then we see a MISSING poster of him, so it is safe to say he may go out the same way he went out in book (semi-spoiler, lots of nasty bugs) but will the movie address ALL THE WEIRD SHIT THE DUDE DID?
Yes, I am specifically referring to the scene when the “thugs” are lighting their farts on fire and one of Henry’s underlings randomly starts giving Henry a handjob, which quickly escalates. Using homosexuality as a factor to make someone scarier is quite archaic, so I wouldn’t expect the “bully hadjob scene” in the movie, which kind of makes me sigh a breath of relief TBH.
But regarding the bullies and just how f*cked up they are….
7) Will We See the Racism, Fat-Shaming, and Child Abuse of the Book?
A big part of the kid’s lives in this story, the Loser’s club, as they are called is that they are ultimately safe nowhere. Pennywise is a constant threat and the teens around them seem to genuinely enjoy the torture and abuse of these kids. Though bullying is still huge and would be impactful (and the trailer does hint it is very much there) just how deep will it delve into the book’s bullying?
What I am saying is, the fat kid has things carved into him in the book and the black kid obviously gets called the N-word quite a bit. Will these things make it into the modern movie, or is the race thing still very fragile in this country and will they tone it down?
I am very curious to see how it is handled, as I am sure you are. My opinion, do it like the book. Bullying is not cute or fun and you do deal with abuse when bullied, so toning that down would lessen the impact of just what these kids TRULY endure across the first half of this story.
8) Will The Kids (and We, the Audience) FINALLY See THE COSMIC TURTLE!!?
The less I say about this one the better but man, I better get me some tripping kids and a cosmic turtle with a tale about how IT has been evil for centuries, and pretty much is the opposite of all that is sacred and good (which the cosmic turtle represents).
Much like a child orgy, I would not expect tripping kids to talk to a cosmic turtle named Maturin, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately because I don’t know how well that would translate on film. Maturin makes appearances in other King work as well, btw, for those keeping score.
9) The Kids Already Know Who They Want To Play Their Adult Parts
Not that it is likely to happen, but MTV (didn’t that used to be a music channel?) sat down with the talented young cast and asked them who they wanted to portray their grown-up selves in the sequel, and some of them have some really cool choices.
Granted, no one in Hollywood would let young actors pick their replacements, but it is still so cool to see them invested in their own film and where it potentially will go without them in the forthcoming sequel, which as many of you know, will focus on the adult half of “The Loser’s Club” story.
And on a final and exciting note…
10) King Loves It And His Son, Author Joe Hill Says The New It Is Easily One of the 5 Scariest Films Ever Made.
Stephen King is notorious for not loving his adaptations (The Shining, anyone) and as a writer, I can understand. How can ANYONE but the person who wrote it really understand the vision that was in the writer’s head like the writer can? No one can, those were real people to him.
Rumor from the new IT director is King has seen it and adores IT, even being okay with the monster changes I mentioned earlier. Supposedly the director and King had quite a nice back-and-forth about it over email.
And for those who don’t know, Joe Hill is one of the best writers of modern horror and just ALSO happens to be King’s son, and he said it was easily one of the scariest films he has ever seen, and not just because it is related to his Dad (though I am sure there is some bias).
He called it relentless, which honestly, it is exactly how I want my IT! Speaking of which, part one of this two part movie comes out September 8th. I’ll see you opening night, Georgie.
Heh heh heh.