One of the more infamous scenes from Stephen King’s horror epic IT won’t likely appear in the upcoming movie adaptation. If you’ve read the novel, you know which bit I’m talking about. If you haven’t… well. Let me explain.
The MPAA has dropped the rating for IT recently. True to most of the book, the film has been rated R for “violence/horror, bloody images, and for language.” What’s missing is any kind of warning for explicit sexual content which has caused a lot of fans to speculate that the novel’s infamous pre-teen orgy scene will not be making its way on screen.
Yes, those of you unfamiliar with just how nasty the mind of Stephen King can be, IT features an extended passage in which the group of eleven year olds that the story centers around all have sex with each other following their battle with the cosmic monster IT. I’ve read the book and its an uncomfortable scene to say the least. I would even argue for it being horribly misguided no matter the thematic “coming of age” symbolism that it carries. The graphic detail that King goes into in his description will make almost anyone feel horribly unclean and wonder why he and his editors left it in there.
This news also means that sexually explicit scenes that were reported to be in an earlier version of Cary Fukunaga’s script (that we did some digging on) will not be present, including a scene in which eleven year old Beverly Marsh is raped by her father.
Parents on a casting forum for child actors voiced their displeasure for the film’s script. One parent stated:
“I don’t remember it being anything more than suggested in the original either. But it goes farther than that in this script. Much farther in a couple scenes, the father kissing her bare stomach, hands up her skirt to slip off panties, in addition she describes being gang raped to another character. Add it all up and it’s just to much for us. We were so excited when we got it, but there was a pretty heafty email from agent to read script and approve before agreeing due to content.”
Another parent said:
“This is just gross. And I’m not talking about the content… I’m talking about directors/producers who want to hire underage actresses to make out with creepy old men.”
There was also allegedly one scene in the original script in which the bully character Henry Bowers raped a Hanlon sheep and masturbated onto a birthday cake.
Another scene that was taken out of the early draft featured Stan Uris, one of the child protagonists, using a woman’s restroom at his Jewish temple and encountering a rotting naked woman. The woman tries to tempt Stan, going as far as touching herself in front of him.
Keep it classy, guys. Keep it classy. How did they expect to sell this thing to wide audiences anyway?
The studio wanted Fukunaga to edit these scenes out, and he refused – although a lot of the script actually made it into the version of the film that we will see later this year.
When talking about why he left the film, the director had this to say:
“I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience.”
“They didn’t want any characters. They wanted archetypes and scares. I wrote the script. They wanted me to make a much more inoffensive, conventional script. But I don’t think you can do proper Stephen King and make it inoffensive.”
There was also this part cut out of one of the drafts, in which Pennywise let a young Alvin Marsh live so he could grow up to molest Beverly Marsh every night:
I am all for these scenes not appearing in the film adaptation. Reading about it is one thing. Seeing then play out in front of my own two eyes would be worse even though it wouldn’t be legal to be nearly as sexually explicit as the novel or the original screenplay are. Cutting these out is a step in the right direction for an adaptation of what is still overall a terrific book. At this point, I just hope that the trippy cosmic horror elements of the book’s final act make their way into the film. They were missing in the 1990 television miniseries and that adaptation suffered for it. I’m certainly excited to find out.
IT hits theaters September 8th.
So are you excited for IT? Sound off below!