IT is one of Stephen King's biggest novels, literally. Depending on the edition you read the novel clocks in at well over 1,000 pages, so clearly, not everything that takes place in the book will ever be in any version of the story adapted for the screen. The television miniseries from 1990 had to choose to leave some things out, but the upcoming sequel on the big screen will be including one major moment left out of the previous version.
Because IT the novel jumps back and forth in time, we see both the "present day" Derry and the one from the past both at the beginning of the story. In the present day timeline, the first vision of Pennywise the clown comes after a gay man named Adrian Mellon has just been the victim of a serious hate crime, a beating by three teenagers. While the TV version of IT left the moment out, the new film, IT Chapter Two, will include it. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman says the scene isn't just memorable, but it's also important...
It is an iconic scene in the book and one we wanted to include in the movie. It is the first attack in present-day Derry and sets the stage for what Derry has become. It is the influence of Pennywise even while he is hibernating, and it’s pure evil what happens to Adrian. These bullies working through Pennywise was important for us to show.
Gary Dauberman's description of the scene to THR might indicate a slight difference between the version on the screen and the version in the book. Dauberman says that Pennywise is hibernating, which would indicate he's not actually part of the scene, but that his evil influence is simply being felt by those in the town.
However, in the novel, Pennywise is there. While the clown does not take an active part in the attack on Adrian Mellon, after his body is pushed from a bridge, Pennywise, or if we're being specific, a clown, is seen with the bloody body in his arms.
It will be interesting to see how else the scene changes due to the way time has passed. One of the interesting things that the film version of IT has done is shift the time period, so the 1980s, which was the modern day for the novel, is when the first film took place, the sequel will see the main characters grown up in our modern day.
This moment is the very first scene in the modern timeline so it certainly does set the stage for what follows as Gary Dauberman said. It's somewhat understandable that the TV version would leave it out, it would be hard to do the moment justice without showing it in all its violence, something television would have trouble doing now, never mind in 1990. The R-rated IT Chapter Two won't have that issue.
The first trailer for IT Chapter Two was released yesterday, and it focuses on one scene, but a very different one. It's not vicious and violent, but it's creepy as hell. Check it out.
IT Chapter Two will hit theaters in September.