For director Andy Muschietti, the new It film has been no easy task. He’s been dealing with not only staying faithful to the source material of the novel, but also living up to the expectations set by the 1990 miniseries. And now it appears that he isn’t actually a fan of the miniseries at all.
While speaking with Variety, Muschietti spoke about writing the novel into two film scripts. He explained how his film will remain closer to the spirit of the novel in comparison to the miniseries despite various changes to King’s story:
“Most of the people are excited about seeing a good adaptation. There are naysayers. Those tend to be the people who are fans of the miniseries rather than the fans of the book. People who read the book and got the book, they’re not crazy about the miniseries. It was a very watered-down version. It didn’t contain the darkness that the book had. They couldn’t make something for TV about a clown who eats children.”
It does make sense, as the miniseries is unfortunately dated by the censorship and style of the time – despite Tim Curry’s killer performance as Pennywise.
Speaking of which, Muschietti also commented on casting Bill Skarsgård in the killer clown role and how he didn’t want just another Tim Curry.
“I wanted to stay true to the essence of the character. I knew that I didn’t want to go the road of Tim Curry [who played Pennywise in the TV miniseries]. Bill Skarsgard caught my attention. The character has a childish and sweet demeanor, but there’s something very off about him. Bill has that balance in him. He can be sweet and cute, but he can be pretty disturbing.”
Muschietti certainly seems to know what he’s talking about when it comes to King’s original novel, so let’s hope he does the source material justice.
Though, after doing quite a bit of research, we did find that the new film will cut out a lot of graphic sexual content involving pre-teens from the script that Cary Fukunaga wrote before exiting the project over creative disagreements.
Skarsgård’s performance, it’s said to be terrifying, so much so that he traumatized children on the set of the film:
“It’s a really weird thing to go, ‘If I succeed at doing what I’m trying to do with this character, I’ll traumatize kids.’ On set, I wasn’t very friendly or goofy. I tried to maintain some sort of weirdness about the character, at least when I was in all the makeup. At one point, they set up this entire scene, and these kids come in, and none of them have seen me yet. Their parents have brought them in, these little extras, right? And then I come out as Pennywise, and these kids—young, normal kids—I saw the reaction that they had.”
“Some of them were really intrigued, but some couldn’t look at me, and some were shaking. This one kid started crying. He started to cry and the director yelled, “Action!” And when they say “action,” I am completely in character. So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realized, ‘Holy shit. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.”
It hits theaters September 8, 2017.