‘It is coming…’ What is? ‘It is.’ What is it? ‘It‘ It? That’s it…
Spoilers may follow.
What’s It about?
In the fictional town of Derry, Maine (the setting for a number of King’s works) a dangerous, shape-shifting and devious being is to be found preying on children.
Exploiting their fears, and appearing in the form of Pennywise – a clown – ‘It’ has been stealing and killing Derry’s young for centuries, yet no adult seems prepared to admit it.
Thus, the task is left to a group of youngsters from the town – The Losers’ Club – but little do they know quite how deadly evil their foe will prove to be.
While the book unfolds across two separate decades: the 1950s and 80s, the film is set solely in 1989. Likewise, the book tells of the battle between The Losers’ Club as kids and adults; here it is only the former displayed – likely due to the enormity of the book’s length. If this first outing proves successful, there is, then, room for a sequel to float too.
Who’s in it?
Will Poulter, Ben Mendelsohn and even Tilda Swinton have, to various degrees of accuracy, been associated with the part of Pennywise, so famously played by Tim Curry in the 1990 miniseries.
It is, however, Bill Skarsgård (son of Stellan) who will be haunting your nightmares for many months to come.
Having appeared this year in Atomic Blonde, Skarsgård may have found his niche in horror. Indeed, reportedly, the actor’s performance on set was so utterly terrifying that the young cast of the production were reduced to tears following one take.
Midnight Special and The Book of Henry star, Jaeden Lieberher leads a cast of young actors – including Finn Wolfhard, best known for his part in Netflix’s Stranger Things as, principle character, Mike.
Incidentally, Stranger Things‘ own creators: Matt and Ross Duffer had apparently themselves expressed interest in making the film, yet were considered to be lacking in experience. Just goes to show!
Who’s made it?
The film is based on Stephen King’s 1986 book of the same name – King being no stranger to film adaptation, having penned the texts that inspired The Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, and The Shining (although King’s famously not a fan of the latter).
Translating the best-selling author to screen this time is Andrés Muschietti, with a screenplay from Chase Palmer, Gary Dauberman and, Beast of No Nation director, Cary Fukunaga. It was Fukunaga who inaugurated It‘s journey to the big screen back in 2015, signing on to direct. Later clashes with the film’s Production Studio – New Line – however saw him step down.
‘I was trying to make an unconventional horror film,’ said Fukunaga at the time.
‘It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offering their standard genre audience.’
An Argentinian director, Muschetti begun his career with the self-produced short film Mamá, which in 2013 began the feature film Mama, starring Jessica Chastain.
Music is so often a vital part in horror; tackling this aspect of production for It is British composer Benjamin Wallfisch. A long time collaborator of Hans Zimmer, Wallfisch earlier this year supplemented on the score of Hidden Figures. Horror is, however, a mainstay of his career to date, having composed the music for last year’s Lights Out and, this year, Annabelle: Creation.
Costume design comes from Janie Bryant, who turned to Renaissance ruffs to inspire the infamous clown’s instantly iconic look.
When’s it out?
It hits cinemas on September 8; bring balloons…
Watch the trailer here: