Clowns make people do very strange things. Most people are terrified of them. Some people want to fuck them. And then there are big corporations, like Burger King, who apparently want to shut down famous clowns like Pennywise the Dancing Clown because they look too similar to their age-old competition on the burger-slinging business.
This is a true story that is really happening, as The Hollywood Reporter notes that Burger King's Russia division has filed a complaint with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service asking that Andy Muschietti's IT be banned for the reason that Pennywise looks too much like Ronald McDonald. They say that because of the similarities, IT serves as free advertising for McDonald's, and that's unfair.
Clearly, whoever is filing this suit in Russia hasn't seen IT, because if they think that people coming out of the Stephen King adaptation want to run right over and EAT anything being served by Pennywise, they're nuts. Also, I know that Ronald McDonald looks different in different countries, and that international versions of the fast-food clown COULD bear some similarity to Pennywise. But there's no way audiences are confusing this:
Spokespeople for Russia's Anti-Monopoly service have come out and said that they can not police a filmmaker's interpretation of a clown, though they will look at IT for any unfair product placement or advertising. They explained:
We can't be concerned with the content of the film because the writer and director have their own creative understanding of any character.
The trade notes that IT opened in Russian, and has banked $14 million to date. It's currently playing in more than 100 movie theaters, so the call for a boycott of a ban is falling on deaf ears. Meanwhile, here in the States, IT rolls along, posting a staggering $266M and not really slowing down. We recently learned that the sequel, IT 2, will reach theaters in September 2019, meaning that casting of the adult Losers' Club should be in full swing soon enough. Now we hope that Andy Muschietti finds a redhead who looks exactly like the Wendy's logo to play Older Beverly.