Fans who attended the SXSW festival earlier this month got to see the first IT movie trailer, although that footage still hasn't been released to the public quite yet. While we wait for that sneak peek to officially arrive, four new photos have surfaced, giving us a better look at both Pennywise the Clown, and the group of children known as The Losers Club. We also hear from director Andres Muschietti, who sheds some light on this highly-anticipated adaptation, and how it will connect to the planned sequel, that revisits The Losers Club kids as adults.
Unlike the original Stephen King novel, this adaptation is set in the year 1989, just three years after the original book was actually published, in 1986. The novel is set in the 1950s, following this group of kids dubbed The Losers Club, before they reunite 30 years later as adults. The story centers on Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), who loses his brother to Pennywise, and enlists the help of The Losers Club, who had dealt with Pennywise before in the sleepy down of Derry, Maine, which has a notorious history of youngsters being abducted by this entity, which surfaces every 30 years. The Losers Club includes Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard), Stan Uris (Wyatt Oleff), Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs), Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis). Here's what director Andres Muschietti had to say in his interview with USA Today, about how these young kids are forced to grow up very quickly.
"It happens in the book, this coming of age and kids facing their own mortality, which is something that in real life happens in a more progressive way and slowed down. There's a passage (in It) that reads, 'Being a kid is learning how to live and being an adult is learning how to die.' There's a bit of a metaphor of that and it just happens in a very brutal way, of course."
Stephen King's original 1,138-page novel was previously adapted into a 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry as Pennywise, which is still one of the actor's most iconic performances to this date. Many fans were surprised when 26-year-old Bill Skarsgard signed on to play Pennywise, but we'll have to wait and see how fans respond to his performance when the first trailer comes out. Andres Muschietti also revealed that there was a small part of the original Stephen King novel that helped inform his vision of Pennywise, and why he goes after these young children. Here's what the filmmaker had to say below about this part of the novel, where young Bill wonders if Pennywise eats children because that's what children are told that monsters do.
"It's a tiny bit of information, but that sticks with you so much. Maybe it is real as long as children believe in it. And in a way, Pennywise's character is motivated by survival. In order to be alive in the imagination of children, he has to keep killing. It's established that Pennywise takes the shape of your worst fear. He doesn't have a steady behavior, he doesn't expose how he thinks, and that's what makes him really unpredictable."
One of the photos features Pennywise standing behind a red balloon, an object which has come to signify an omen that Pennywise is back in town, with the director revealing that the balloon represents the "feeling of dread that grows in people's minds." While we still have a few months left until the September 8 release date, some fans are already wondering when the follow-up will take shape, which will follow the same characters as adults. New Line hasn't set up a release date for the follow-up yet, and we probably won't find out who will be cast as the adult versions of The Losers Club anytime soon. Here's what director Andres Muschietti had to say about Part 2, hinting that there will be some clues planted in this upcoming movie for the sequel.
"It's about remembering things that they have forgot. Getting back in touch with those memories is such an important part of the plot. (There are a few hints) that make you think about what will happen 30 years later when Pennywise comes again."
The supporting cast also includes Owen Teague as Patrick Hocksetter, a psychopathic bully who torments the Losers Club, Javier Botet, Nicholas Hamilton, Stephen Williams and Stephen Bogaert. New Line has set a September 8, 2017 release date for IT, which currently has that date all to itself, arriving between STX Entertainment's Renegades on September 1 and Lionsgate's American Assassin and Sony's The Solutrean on September 15. Take a look at these new photos from IT below, as we wait for the first trailer.