While many suspected that IT, the long-anticipated big screen adaptation of Stephen King's seminal horror novel, would be Rated R, there was always a lingering fear that it would go the PG-13 route. In a recent interview, producer Dan Lin confirmed that wouldn't be happening. This version of IT will keep all the thrills of the original classic novel intact.
"It is a rated-R movie. If you're going to make a "Rated-R movie", you have to fully embrace what it is, and you have to embrace the source material. It is a scary clown that's trying to kill kids. So of course that's going to be a rated-R movie. The kids are amazing. You very much get a Stand by Me vibe as far as their camaraderie and the way they joke with each other and that they really care for each other. They do have a scary clown that's taken over the town of Derry, so it's going to be rated R."
IT was always planned as a two-part movie, just as the TV miniseries arrived in two parts. The first installment will focus on the kids. While the second movie follows the same kids as adults. Though, as IT began production, talk of the second movie faded away, and it has never been outright confirmed that it will happen. Dan Lin says that is still the intention, and that the production team has not wavered from those plans. He explains to Collider what is happening with the sequel, saying it's moving forward.
"Naturally that's the plan. If you look at the book, it's the part of the book that we have not yet explored. The book we really broke down into two parts. The first part is this movie and if audiences react to this movie in the way we hope they will and I think they will, then we'll be to tell the adult story as well."
So, even though the second movie is still planned, if the first one bombs at the box office, you can expect the second one to quietly shuffle off into the land of movies that never were. What that means is IT won't likely end on a cliffhanger. Not one that is as obvious as the TV miniseries anyway.
IT had been languishing in development hell since 2009, with True Detective's Cary Fukunaga originally set to direct. Now, the movie is being helmed by Mama director Andres Muschietti. Bill Skarsgard is playing the iconic clown Pennywise, a role originated on the small screen by the legendary Tim Curry.
While the movie is compared to Stand By Me by producer Dan Lin, the scary thriller is also drawing comparisons to Netflix's hit series Stranger Things, which itself drew plenty of inspiration from the Stephen King movies of the 1980s. Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard even has a main role in IT playing a member of the Losers' Club who is tormented by Pennywise. So those comparisons will probably be mentioned quite a bit when the film is released this fall, coming to theaters in September.