Things have been pretty darn confusing over the Stephen King front. In general, the man’s novels tend to be long — often breaking one thousand pages in length. As such, when it comes adapting, many fans don’t see the standard film as the ideal medium in which to tell the stories. There’s a reason why The Stand was made as a mini-series, and why The Dark Tower is set to spread across both TV and film — there’s no other way to do it. But what about King’s other magnum opus? We’re talking about his beloved horror novel It, which follows a small town’s dealing with a psychotic supernatural killer named Pennywise.
The book isn’t quite your traditional story when it comes to it’s structure. Told over the course of decades, it follows a group of friends named the losers in their fight against this shapeshifting baddie. The book has a unique structure that starts off in the “present” (at the time, it was the 1980s), and at opportune moments, it flashes back to the group in their youth, when they first learned about Pennywise. Despite this structure, both the kids arc and adult arc have their own three-act structure to them, and in a way, are almost an artificially-created single unit. In short, it wouldn’t be out of place for them to treat the story with one part dealing with kids, and one part dealing with the adults.
Lo and behold, over the course of a good year and a half of development (wherein True Detective director Cary Fukunaga hopped in and out of the project), it was stated multiple times that that was the direction they’d take these films. There’d be one movie chronicling the kids’ story, and one following them as adults. However, throughout the revolving door of talent, it was never clear whether or not the studio behind the scenes was still following through with this vision. Did they still have the confidence to go forward with two movies, or will we only be receiving one film this year?
Speaking with Collider, the film’s producer, Dan Lin, stated that the plan was still to make two movies, though from the sound of it, that second movie seems to largely depend on the success of that first one.
“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.”
And speaking of adult story, another question with a movie like this is whether or not it would be rated R. If you’ve read the book, it goes without question that the material calls for an R. That being said, while not ideal, it would still be possible for this movie to get done at a hard PG-13 level. So what’s this film shooting for? Luckily for us, they’ll be going for an R.
“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.”
I’m liking the idea of this more and more. While I’ve always loved the idea of Mama director Andrés Muschietti getting behind the helm of this project, the unknown idea of us potentially getting a smashed down vision wasn’t one that was appealing to me. This news from Lin should go a long way to please hardcore fans of the source material.
It hits theaters on September 8, 2017.
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