As we all know, Stephen King’s novel IT was previously adapted as a miniseries in 1990. The television event became a big staple in the horror community for fans, and that’s part of why Andy Muschietti’s upcoming adaptation is so hotly anticipated. But it turns out the director “wasn’t a big fan” of the original adaptation.
The director explained all of this in an interview with SFX Magazine:
“To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the miniseries. I was not a child anymore when it came out in 1990. So my attachment was very much to the book and to the world of Stephen King more than the miniseries.”
He does go on to mention, however, that he realizes how iconic the original miniseries was.
“I totally acknowledge how iconic that miniseries was for a generation. But also you have to say that it impacted that generation because they saw it with very young eyes as a TV movie or on VHS. A lot of people don’t remember the whole thing, but they are terrified of the iconic scenes of the clown behind the sheets in the beginning and the storm drain.”
This actually isn’t the first time Muschietti has talked about the Curry film, as he did just last month:
“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.”
“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.”
Although it would be nice to see the original miniseries get a little more respect, Muschetti’s perspective is understandable and perhaps even beneficial. He’ll have a fresh take on King’s story and one that could infect a whole new generation.
After all, it sure scared Stephen King’s son Joe Hill:
“Andres’ adaptation of IT is one of the 5 scariest films ever made,” Hill exclaimed. “It’s tremendously humane. You love the characters in it. But it is just relentlessly terrifying.”
“Only Jaws, The Exorcist, John Carpenter’s The Thing and Let the Right One In are scarier. It’s that good. It’s that brilliant.”
Meanwhile Bill Skarsgård has previously revealed that he’s been having nightmares from how terrifying an experience playing Pennywise was:
“It’s funny. I went back to Stockholm after we wrapped, and every night for two weeks, I had these strange recurring Pennywise dreams. I was him, but I was in the wrong setting, somehow. I was upset that people could see my face. It was surreal. I can’t explain it.”
A group of young kids face their biggest fears when they seek answers to the disappearance of children in their hometown of Derry, Maine. They square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
IT hits theaters September 8, 2017.