We're three weeks away from the IT movie hitting theaters, but for more than two decades, the only adaptation Stephen King fans had of this particular horror tale was the 1990 TV miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Looking at that miniseries and the previews for the upcoming movie, it's clear that both projects, while scary in their own ways, feel remarkably different. That's because IT director Andres Muschietti primarily used the original source text for inspiration, as he isn't particularly a fan of the miniseries. As Muschietti put it:
To be honest. I wasn't a big fan of the miniseries. I was not a child anymore when it came out in 1990. So my attachment was very much to the book and to the world of Stephen King more than the miniseries.
The original IT miniseries aired on ABC in 1990, and while opinions will differ on how well it has aged since then, Tim Curry's performance of Pennywise is still praised by many. But because Andres Muschietti was already into adulthood when it premiered, it didn't affect him the same way it did younger viewers who were watching the frightening Pennywise on their television screens. However, Muschietti doesn't deny the importance that the IT miniseries has had over the years. He continued to SFX Magazine:
I totally acknowledge how iconic that miniseries was for a generation. But also you have to say that it impacted that generation because they saw it with very young eyes as a TV movie or on VHS. A lot of people don't remember the whole thing, but they are terrified of the iconic scenes of the clown behind the sheets in the beginning and the storm drain.
He has a point. If you're not a hardcore Stephen King fan and haven't watched the IT miniseries since it originally aired, you may not remember most of what happened. But seeing Tim Curry running around in a clown getup and terrorize children? That's difficult to permanently erase from your mind, and even though the public will soon be treated to Bill Skarsgard's version of Pennywise, no doubt there will be many who will continue to associate Curry with the demonic clown first.
The IT movie will be a largely faithful adaptation of Stephen King's lengthy novel, although as with any adaptation, there will be some differences. The main one is that this movie, which is adapting the first half of the IT book, is set in the 1980s rather than the 1950s. So when audiences reunite with The Losers' Club as adults during IT Part 2, it will be during the present day. Andres Muschietti has also said that his adaptation will not include the mythology of The Turtle.
IT will scare audiences nationwide starting September 8. You can also find out what other movies are being release for the rest of the year by looking through our premiere guide.