IT's Co-Writer Talks About The Decision Not To Include The Book's Most Controversial Scene

The Losers Club It

The following contains a major spoiler for the novel IT as well as the new film adaptation.

Stephen King's IT is now in theaters and fans are finally able to see what is quite possibly the author's greatest work on the big screen. However, the book didn't make it into theaters without a few changes from the source material. One major change was the removal of a controversial scene from the novel. In the book, after the kids have successfully defeated Pennywise, they end up getting lost in the sewer on their way out. Beverly, the one girl among them, realizes the group is losing their unification and her solution is to have sex with each of the boys, right there in the sewer. IT screenwriter Gary Dauberman says the scene itself is less important than the idea behind it. So it was removed, and the movie tried to keep the same intent. According to Dauberman...

Besides Georgie in the sewer [the IT opening], I think it's the one scene that everybody kind of brings up and it's such a shame. While it's an important scene, it doesn't define the book in any way I don't think and it shouldn't. We know what the intent was of that scene and why he put it in there, and we tried to accomplish what the intent was in a different way.

The issue is an obvious one. The main characters throughout half of the novel, and the entirety of the new film, are kids, not even yet teenagers. It's one thing to describe a scene in a book where kids have sex, it would be another to show it onscreen. While the actors playing them are slightly older than the characters they play, they're not that much older. Depicting the scene would be difficult to do, even if it was felt the scene was vital.

The movie, instead, simply jumps over where the scene would be. We never witness the kids exiting the sewer. After their "final" confrontation with Pennywise, the Losers Club is outside dealing with the aftermath. They take a blood oath that they will all return if the evil comes back. While this scene is also in book, it's designed to show the bond between the kids is strong, and thus it accomplishes much the same thing that the sex scene is supposed to do. As Gary Dauberman tells EW, the other scene just isn't necessary.

The other purpose of the scene is to show the transformation between childhood and adulthood, something which is vital in the book, as the novel jumps back and forth between the two time periods regularly. The film, however, focuses only on the childhood aspect, and while the plan was always to make the second film, and those plans are now moving forward, not knowing that a sequel would happen while filming IT would have made the scene superfluous if the sequel never happened. It also would have been an odd scene to end the movie with.

IT is going to do plenty to make your skin crawl, even without a scene of kids having sex.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.