In 1990, a TV miniseries based on Stephen King's It aired on television, and since then, I've been uncomfortable around clowns. That's a mark of just how unnervingly creepy Tim Curry's portrayal of the red-haired, sharp toothed clown-monster was. ("Oh yes... They float, Georgie. They float. And when you're down here with me, you float too!") I was a bit too young to be reading King at that point, but I've since faced my fear of Pennywise and found that It is a pretty fantastic read, and well worth picking up if you can stomach the creepier scenes. So it is with cautious optimism that I share the news that the feature adaptation of King's novel now has a director and a writer.
King's It follows a group of adult friends who reunite in their hometown of Derry, Maine when they learn that the child-murdering evil monster that haunted their lives for a summer during their youth is back and killing once again. The story jumps between the present and the past, revisiting the days when they first found each other, and faced the clown (and the demon beneath). It's a scary story, but beyond the horror is a tale of friendship, fear, bravery and loss of innocence. If you're looking to lose yourself in a book this summer, add It to this list.
The Hollywood Reporter posted the news tonight, stating that Cary Fukunaga is set to direct Warner Bros.' feature adaptation of It. He's also going to be co-writing the script along with Chase Palmer. Among his directing credits is the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre. He's also listed as a director for the upcoming HBO series True Detective. Producing the film are Roy Lee and Dan Lin, as well as KatzSmith Production's Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg.
On the subject of readapting the novel, I'm actually a fan of the miniseries version of It, which in addition to Curry, also starred Annette O'Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Seth Green and Richard Thomas. Even after I read It and found that there was a lot of story and character development that got trimmed for the miniseries, I still like the original adaptation enough to say that it doesn't really need to be re-adapted, especially as I can't picture anyone other than Curry playing Pennywise. With that said, as mentioned, there were things that didn't make it into the TV movie, and from what THR is reporting, they're aiming to make the big screen version of It into two movies. That may be the biggest source of my optimism here. With two movies, they might be able to dig a bit deeper into the story, perhaps exploring the history of the "It" and the town of Derry, as well as other bits of character development built into the story.
It's definitely going to be interesting to hear further developments on this project, including who is cast in the lead roles. I'm thinking it may be time for an It reread.
"They ALL float down here. When you're down here with us, you'll float too!"