[THE UPDATE IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE]
Deadline reports that the identity of the seventh and final cast member to make up “The Losers Club” in the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s It has been revealed as Sophia Lillis. Lillis’s role is of particular note for several reasons: not only is she the only female in coming-of-age septet (a fancy word for seven people), but her young character gets sexually intimate with all six boys of the group in Stephen King’s classic.
The identities of the six boys set to portray Stephen King’s “Losers Club” have been known for a while. The most famous child actor of the bunch, Jaden Lieberher (St. Vincent, Midnight Special), will play the group’s leader, Bill Denbrough. Actors Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Jeremy Ray Taylor were also cast to be included in the group. Although the exact roles the latter five will be taking on were not revealed, their identities have been speculated on. One thing was always for sure, though: all of the six actors were boys, and Beverly, the last member of Stephen King’s squad, would be played by a girl.
Several days ago, a photo of the aforementioned six boys, along with a girl who no sources seemed to be able to identify, was posted on Finn Wolfhard’s Instagram (the account has since been made private). The photo was reportedly taken in Toronto, Canada.
The identity of the girl who would take on the iconic Stephen King character was a mystery until just hours ago, when Deadline officially introduced her as Sophia Lillis.
It is no wonder people had such a hard time putting a name to Lillis’ face, since she, like most of the other members of Stephen King’s Losers Club, has not previously landed any big-time roles. Lillis did have a role in Julie Taymor’s critically applauded staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2013, and she acted in the Swedish indie drama 37 earlier this year, but her parts in even those productions were small, and getting the chance to take on an important character in a major Stephen King movie adaptation will blow anything she’s done in the past out of the water, at least in terms of career significance.
Now that Lillis has been announced, though, Stephen King Fans and film buffs alike can focus on what may be a more interesting question than the young actress’s name: what will she be doing in the movie?
Beverly is the center of one scene in particular from Stephen King’s book that has raised a ton of controversy. Namely, the scene near the end of the book where Beverly has sexual relations in the sewer with each of the male members of The Losers Club, one at a time, in order to strengthen their bond in the future.
The scene is powerful and disturbing, which is likely why Stephen King felt it appropriate to include. But it is also a bit much for Hollywood to even imply a child character might be having unrestrained sex with multiple partners in a row, even though it would obviously be simulated.
That was the case with the 1990 cult classic TV miniseries adaptation of It, at least. The miniseries creators did not want to touch such a controversial topic, regardless of Stephen King’s initial vision, and they skipped the scene completely.
This time around, though, the film’s directors say they want to cling to what Stephen King gave them to work with, including the gritty, more mature aspects not present in the 1990 version starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown.
If Lillis’s character does end up getting steamy in the movie’s storyline, one can assume that it will be implied; the 27 years that will have passed since the miniseries debuted may have eased restrictions on the broaching of sensitive topics, but actually showing those topics on screen is still generally a no-no.
The King adaptation will be split into two parts, and the first of the two parts (the one that would include the implied sex scene) is set to be released on September 8, 2017.
Stephen King fan or not, are you excited for It?
UPDATE: It has just been confirmed by Seth Grahame Smith, a producer of the film, that Stephen King’s sewer sex scene will not be included in the film. That confirmation came in the form of a tweet in which Smith told a fan he “was safe” from the scene.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]