Part one of Stephen King’s IT remake has officially finished filming. In a celebration of sorts, a producer has released a creepy new image on Instagram that teases at the eponymous antagonist of King’s oft-praised source novel, Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
The newly released photo, which features a jack-in-the-box version of Pennywise, is clearly meant to represent the way in which the evil clown/shape shifting demonic entity entices its prey: luring children (its favorite meal) into a false sense of security before terrifying and eventually feeding off of their fear. The photo was posted by Muschetti’s sister (and producer) Barbara Muschetti, who includes a thank you to King in her post.
IT, which is the second attempt at adapting the novel (after the original 1990 television film, one that significantly deviated from the original material), is helmed by Mama‘s Andy Muschetti after previous director Cary Fukunaga dropped out over creative differences early last year. While fans were sad to see Fukunaga – who directed the entire first season of the critically acclaimed True Detective – leave, Muschetti has promised that his two-part film will stick fairly close to King’s material.
Naturally, the film is being updated to fit a more contemporary setting. According to Coming Soon, the first part will be set in late 1980s, while the second and final part will be set in the modern day. It will be interesting to find out if the films adhere strictly to chronological format or float between past and present like the novel, seeing as a big theme in King’s novel was rediscovering one’s own childhood. A vital part of the story also involved remembering what happened in The Barrens, the place where the main characters defeated “It” as young children.
Speaking of the main characters for the IT remake, the cast includes a few young faces that most might recognize by now. Specifically Finn Wolfhard, who recently had his breakout role in Stranger Things (which was partly inspired by King and his vast body of work) as main character Mike Wheeler. For IT, Wolfhard will be taking on the role of Richie Tozier, the obnoxiously funny one of The Losers’ Club – the characters self-proclaimed exclusive club.
The remake will obviously be able to delve a lot deeper into the more violent and controversial subjects that King is known for than the original, which was broadcast on ABC and limited the film’s ability to show heavy blood and more adult-oriented material. With that in mind, though, it’s doubtful that a very controversial part from King’s book, which involves a sexual act between young children, will be included at all.
Recently, the IT novel celebrated its 30-year anniversary, and in honor of King, The Guardian posted a dedication to why the novel is still just as frightening now as ever.
”I think you’d struggle to find a more-read author in the 1980s than Stephen King,” the article declares. ”Throughout the 70s and early 80s, King carved a path for himself as the world’s foremost writer of horror fiction.” It’s hard to argue with such a statement, as King has sold more than 350 million books worldwide, and many of his stories have been adapted for the big screen (some that are just as popular as ever).
The IT remake will no doubt be scrutinized heavily by both fans of the original miniseries and the novel (and of course those who put themselves in both camps) while trying to not only bring in the aforementioned King fans, but appeal to a more general audience as well. There’s also a question of how much part one’s box office performance affects the production of part two. Until the film’s release, however, there can only be speculation.
Part one of the Stephen King IT remake creeps into theaters on September 8, 2017.
[Featured Image by Francois Mori/AP Images]