Around the time of the theatrical release of this film, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, there was a prank that involved a series of red balloons tied to sewer grates throughout the town mimicking one of the book covers of the "It" novel. The prank had frightened the citizens, including the Lititz police force.
The outside wall of the butcher shop has a large mural on the side of it commemorating the shootout and murder of the Bradley Gang in 1929. This is taken directly from the book and is mentioned by Ben in his recollection of the past violence that has happened in Derry. In the book, the townspeople of Derry ambush a gang of bank robbers coming to purchase ammo in their town and massacre them in a blaze of crossfire.
Pennywise's costume in the film is much more faithful to the description in the novel, in comparison to the Tim Curry costume in the 1990 TV Mini-Series, including his orange hair, and the orange pom poms going down his silver suit.
Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) was the first one out of all the kids to work with Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise). During their scene, Grazer would cry and gag while Skarsgård was right in his face yelling and drooling. Skarsgård was genuinely concerned for Grazer and asked him if he was okay. Grazer looked right at him and said "Love what you're doing with the character!"
When the film was released in Germany and on the heels of the bizarre controversy in Russia concerning the Ronald McDonald/Pennywise complaint, Burger King Deutschland took it upon themselves to tease their rival, McDonalds, by giving an impromptu message at the end of the film that reads, "The moral is: Never trust a clown" which is accompanied by the Burger King logo. The audience were left bewildered and amused. It was joked that the film became the longest Burger King ad ever.
27 is a number which is often associated with this story. This film was released 27 years after the original 1990 television mini-series. In the book, it is mentioned that "It" returns to Derry approximately every 27 years. Jonathan Brandis, who played young Bill in the original film, died at 27 years old. This movie was released one month after Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise) 27th birthday. The official US release date is 9/8/2017. 9+8+2+0+1+7 = 27.
When Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is in the library, he looks out the window and sees 4 of the Losers ride by on their bikes. You can hear Bill scream "Hiyo Silver, AWAY!", which is a nod to the original novel.
Although Bill Skarsgård was on set for the majority of production, he didn't actually begin filming his scenes until more than half of shooting was complete. The time before he actually started filming was spent working with Andy Muschietti and the producers in order to perfect his mannerisms as Pennywise, as Skarsgård stated that he felt an immense amount of pressure to play the role perfectly due to Tim Curry's well-regarded performance in It (1990).
Bill Skarsgård wanted to make sure that his performance as Pennywise was convincing for audiences. He states, "In order for this movie to be as effective as the book and the series, I have to scare a whole generation. My take was that Pennywise functions very simply. Nothing much is going on in terms of what he's thinking - he's animalistic and instinctive."
Director Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgård separate from the child actors up until they had to shoot scenes together. On the day of their first scenes together, the production staff warned the kids about how scary Skarsgård could be while in character. The kids brushed this off, claiming that they knew he was just an actor in a costume and that they were professionals and would be fine. However, when the time came for Skarsgård to be Pennywise for the scene, the kids were genuinely terrified.
About six months before the film was released, Stephen King (the author of the original novel) was shown a screening. Afterwards, he said that the film exceeded his expectations and that the producers had done "a wonderful job."
When Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard) is in the "clown room," there is a mannequin dressed as the 1990 mini-series version of Pennywise the Clown, played by Tim Curry, sitting on the floor (left side of the screen).
A popular fan idea is to have the child actors from the original miniseries return to play the adult roles. However, Bill would have to be recast due to the death of Jonathan Brandis. Marlon Taylor and Jarred Blancard, who played the roles of Mike and Henry, have both said that if they were offered the chance to reprise their roles, they would accept.
Bill Skarsgård has described Pennywise as being "Such an extreme character. Inhumane." He added, "It's beyond even a sociopath, because he's not even human. He's not even a clown. I'm playing just one of the beings that It creates. It truly enjoys taking the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt." Skarsgård elaborated on his connection to the children, saying, "There's a childishness to the character, because he's so closely linked to the kids. The clown is a manifestation of the children's imaginations, so there's something child-like about that."
Hugo Weaving and Bill Skarsgård were the two finalists for the role of Pennywise after Will Poulter left the project. Skarsgård eventually got the role, reportedly due to his ability to play a more fun and child-like Pennywise, in addition to a creepy Pennywise, while Weaving reportedly fell short in playfulness and could only play creepy.
There were rumors at one point that Bill Skarsgård would not be returning to play Pennywise in the second film due to concerns that the role was negatively affecting his mental health. However, a week before the film was released, SkarsgÃ¥rd confirmed that he was officially attached to the sequel and had already began meeting with director Andy Muschietti to discuss ideas for the character and the film.
During an interview while promoting the film, Bill Skarsgård spoke about a humorous incident while filming a scene where Pennywise was terrorizing Eddie. SkarsgÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¥rd noticed how his performance was upsetting Jack Dylan Grazer and, when the scene ended, asked if he was okay. Grazer immediately broke character and began complimenting SkarsgÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¥rd and his performance. SkarsgÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¥rd was left confused and impressed at Grazer's attitude, calling the child actors "little professionals".
Though CGI was used in some scenes, Bill Skarsgård was actually able to move his eyes in different directions in some scenes at the behest of Andy Muschietti. At first, it was uncertain if he was able to achieve this effect on his own, yet Skarsgård assures, "I can do that." The purpose of this was to add to an already unsettling and disturbing look to Pennywise.
A few weeks after the release of this film, in Moscow, Burger King Russia had filed a complaint against their long time rival, McDonalds, in wanting the film to be banned, citing that their mascot, Ronald McDonald, supposedly looks similar to Pennywise.
According to Andy Muschietti and Bill Skarsgård, there are several scenes of additional footage that were shot but didn't make it into the theatrical cut. For the home video releases, a Director's Cut will be released with the additional footage.
Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgård isolated from the rest of the cast/crew during the beginning of filming, the exception being a three person costume/makeup team. This was to make sure Skarsgård's performance was shocking to the other actors, as well as to avoid leaked photos. Although Skarsgård thought this was a good strategy, he admitted that he felt very lonely during this time, and was sad that he couldn't bond with the rest of the people involved, something he says is one of his favorite parts of making a movie. These feelings were intensified when he heard about how much fun everyone else was having without him and how they all called it one of the best projects they'd ever worked on.
When Stanley is closing the book after struggling with his Bar-Mitzva speech, the title is seen upside down. This could be a simple mistake, a hint that he is too troubled to practice, or he isn't interested in religion much to the implied disappointment of his father. The book is the Pentateuch (The Torah).
While Bill Skarsgård declared himself a huge fan of Tim Curry in general and Curry's specific performance as Pennywise in the It (1990) miniseries, he also said that he did not try to incorporate any of Curry's work into his own portrayal of Pennywise because he felt that he could not "do Tim Curry anywhere near as well as Curry himself did". Also, he did not want his performance to echo Curry's performance and become a distraction.
This film is often mistaken as a remake due to being released 27 years after the It (1990) miniseries. The film is in fact a re-adaptation of the same story. This is actually the first official theatrical adaptation of the "It" novel.
In Stephen King's novel, the Losers Club must face Pennywise first as children, then decades later as adults. This film only tells of their encounter with it as children. The sequel, which tells the story of the Losers Club as adults, is set to be released September 6, 2019.
In the novel, Ben Hanscom invented "beep beep, Richie" whenever they need him to shut up. This is not used by the Losers Club in the movie as they only tell him to "shut up." "Beep beep, Richie" is used by Pennywise in the movie, as a way to taunt Richie.
Warner Bros. had started an Oscar campaign in November of 2017, a few months after the release and subsequent success of the film. The categories include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Sophia Lillis, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score. Concerning the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, it's speculated if any of the seven main actors, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jaeden Lieberher, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, and Bill Skarsgård would be campaigned for those categories.
During early stages of production, Chloë Grace Moretz was strongly considered for the role of Beverly. However, due to the time the project spent in development hell, casting did not begin until Moretz was 19. She was deemed too old for the role, and Sophia Lillis was cast instead. Coincidentally, Moretz starred in Carrie (2013), another Stephen King adaption.
This marks the second time that a character played by Finn Wolfhard stands on the edge of a quarry and is about to jump down. The first time was in Stranger Things (2016), where his character was threatened by school-bullies to jump down.
Bill Skarsgård was the fourth actor offered the role of Pennywise. Tim Curry was offered the chance to reprise the role during early development, but turned it down. Ben Mendelsohn was also offered the role, and was interested, but turned it down when he could not agree with the studio on his salary. Will Poulter was then offered the role and accepted, but scheduling conflicts forced him to drop out after production delays pushed filming back a year. Skarsgård was then given the role.
Bill Skarsgård celebrated his 26th birthday shortly before he began filming his scenes. To celebrate, director Andy Muschietti posted a picture of himself wearing a Pennywise mask, giving Skarsgård the finger, on his Instagram account.
The opening scene with Georgie takes place in October of 1988. Donnie Darko (2001) also takes place in October of 1988. In an early scene in Donnie Darko (2001), Donnie's mother is seen reading the novel "It".
Two days before the movie started filming, director Andy Muschietti posted a picture on his Instagram account of his office filled with balloons, a way of letting fans know that pre-production had ended for the film.
Contrary to the novel, in which the children's journey with Pennywise begins in 1958, the movie will begin to follow the Losers Club from around 1989 (four years after the final encounter between the club and Pennywise in the novel) and supposedly with the second clash in the mid-2010s.
The refrigerator scene was filmed involving Bill Skarsgård partially contorting his body and CGI. Attached to wires, Skarsgård was filmed lying at the bottom of the refrigerator on his back to which the wires would pull him out of the refrigerator and rotate his body as he steps out. Portions of his body were digitally built in order for limbs and body parts to be maneuvered in various ways. The unfolding was hand-animated. Skarsgård's head ultimately remained intact in the shot. VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois states, "I actually suggested to my animation supervisor Yvon Jardel that he animate in reverse." He mentions further, "So Pennywise would step back into the fridge so that he can push himself inside. It gave a better choreography to enter and fold onto itself than to try and do it the other way." Brisebois says that he knew this was going to become an iconic horror shot.
The trailer for this film enraged real-life professional clowns, who stated that the Pennywise character will encourage people to think of clowns as scary and murderous (though the filmmakers and actors have said, clearly, that Pennywise is not a clown at all, but a representation of "It"'s pure evil, who takes on the form out of a mix of sadism and childishness). Rallies to defend the good name in general of clowns in the U.S. were planned following the month It (2017) was released in theaters.
Belch Huggins (Jake Sim) wears a shirt featuring the band Anthrax, with the phrase "Follow me or die" on the back. This is a lyric from Anthrax's song "Among the Living", which the band wrote about another Stephen King book, "The Stand".
To coincide with the film, Warner Bros. had released a virtual reality tie-in game called "It: Escape from Pennywise". It takes the player to the Neibolt house where they have to choose any of the three doors presented to the player to force the player to face their fears. The game is available on Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream.
Despite Nicholas Hamilton (Henry Bowers), Logan Thompson (Victor Criss) Jake Sim (Belch Huggins) and Owen Teague (Patrick Hocksetter) having to constantly bully their co stars on set, off set they all hung out and would constantly pal around. All of the teenage cast said that they have became the very best of friends during filming.
Both Wyatt Oleff and Jack Dylan Grazer originally auditioned for the role of Bill Denbrough. Yet, they ended up getting the roles of Stanley Uris and Eddie Kaspbrak, respectively. And Jaeden Lieberher originally auditioned for the role of Eddie Kaspbrak, yet ended up getting the role of Bill Denbrough.
Coincidentally, the two actors who portrayed Pennywise, Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård, each have green eyes. Though Skarsgård natural green eyes are never shown in this film, in the It (1990) miniseries, there are some scenes where you can see Curry's natural green eyes. Most notably in the iconic scene where he's luring Georgie.
The town of Derry, Maine was set in Port Hope, Canada which, as of April 2017, was the location of Turtle John's restaurant. The Turtle features heavily within the novel "It" and "The Dark Tower" series, also written by Stephen King. Across the way from Turtle John's is Beamish House and twelve beams link and hold together The Dark Tower and the Stephen King universe.
Cary Fukunaga was set to direct, but dropped out after years of pre-production due to a difference in artistic vision and, in consequence, what the intended MPAA rating was intended to be. The studio wanted to aim at a more commercially viable film, while Fukunaga wanted something closer to The Shining (1980) in tone and style. Andy Muschietti took over as director and filming began in the summer of 2016.
This film marks the second time a European actor portraying Pennywise. Tim Curry, who is British, portrayed the character in the 90s miniseries and Bill Skarsgård, who is Swedish, portrayed the character in this film.
It's life essence is comprised of writhing bright orange lights called "Deadlights", a dangerous and eldritch form of energy, which is used as a dark magical weapon by another monstrous Stephen King villain known as the Crimson King.
Both actors cast as Pennywise were significantly younger and taller than Tim Curry was when he played the role in It (1990). Curry was 44 and 5'9, Will Poulter was 22 and 6'2 when he was cast, and Bill Skarsgård was 25 and 6'4.
When screenwriter David Kajganich was attached the project in the early stages, he proclaims that Warner Bros. wanted the film to be rated R in order to stay true to the resource material. He states, "The R rating means we can really honor the book and engage with the traumas (both the paranormal ones and those they deal with at home and school) that these characters endure." Though Kajganich would eventually leave the project, the sentiments made by him concerning the R rating remained and has ultimately benefitted the film.
While on his way to the audition and wearing clown makeup, Bill Skarsgård, at the suggestion of director Andy Muschietti, tried out different types maniacal laughs. He ended up getting perplexed stares from creeped out pedestrians. He says, "Andy [Muschietti] had also asked to explore clown laughter, so I'm sitting in the car and I feel ridiculous, but I thought I might as well absorb it and use it. So I just started to laugh like crazy in the car, as I'm just bearing down on pedestrians."
The final fight scene was very complicated to shoot. According to VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois, the occurrences that happen in the scene had to be planned out. He states, "Basically what they did was bring in all the stunt performers into a gym, and they learned the choreography and they motion-captured this. We built really quick CG assets for all of the characters, including Pennywise, and we planned out all of his transformations and action."
Composer Benjamin Wallfisch had incorporated children singing the nursery rhyme, "Oranges and Lemons" into the score. Director Andy Muschietti came up with the idea of using the old English nursery rhyme. Wallfisch explains, "[Muschietti's] approach, I think, was to try and find a sound for Pennywise that is somehow the sound of him thinking, the sound of him contemplating the idea of attack - or actually attacking." He further explains, "What was fascinating about using something as seemingly innocent and innocuous as a children's play song is that incredible dichotomy between what's on the surface and what is under the surface." The "Oranges and Lemons" rhyme would usually play when Pennywise is luring his victims.
In the scene where the boys watch Beverly sunbathe, the 1989 hit "Bust a Move" by Young M.C. is playing on the radio. The song is advice to a young man about how to approach a female while keeping your cool... which, since first meeting Beverly, is what Ben had trouble doing.
It (alongside Randall Flagg) is regarded as the most evil and popular of Stephen King's villains, and an immense icon in horror. In 2006, Wizard Magazine ranked It as the 15th Greatest Villain of All Time.
Film critic and Variety correspondent Owen Gleiberman cites that the reason for this film's success is due to being "the world's most deluxe Freddy Krueger film", in describing the film as "A Nightmare on Elm Street 8 with Stephen King benefits". The critic expresses that Pennywise uses theatrics and twisted mischief while he terrorizes his victims similar to Freddy Krueger.
As the losers club approaches Pennywise's front porch to fight him, the yard's open iron front gate can be seen from the back. It holds the number "29", which mirrored resemble the letters "e" and "s" - "es" is the german word for "it".
A number of clowns have been spotted in various American states including Florida, New York, Wisconsin and Kentucky, and subsequently in other Western countries, from August 2016. By October 2016, in the wake of hundreds of "clown sightings" across the United States and Canada, the phenomenon had spread from North America to Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
After Cary Fukunaga dropped out, Andy Muschietti pitched a movie that would use most of the Fukunaga/Palmer script, but with more famous scenes from the book added. While Muschietti did most of the rewrite himself, the final version was touched up a little by Gary Dauberman to get the movie back on the original budget.
The film has the biggest opening weekend in the supernatural horror genre, grossing $117,200,000, breaking the previous record set by Paranormal Activity 3 (2011). It made double in its opening weekend revenue.
Bill Skarsgård had auditioned in Hollywood for the role of Pennywise. This required him to wear clown makeup to the audition. He proclaims, "There was something kind of humiliated and absurd about the whole thing. I'm an actor auditioning in Hollywood, and I'm driving with clownface on. It's kind of a metaphor for what the profession of acting feels like".
Director Andy Muschietti had shared on his Instagram account a sketch of an early design of Pennywise he made in 2015. The sketch shows Pennywise with slightly less hair and sans his now-iconic red makeup facial lines that start from the corners of his mouth and ends over his eyebrows.
It apparently originated in a void containing and surrounding the Universe, a place referred to in the novel as the "Macroverse" (a concept similar to the later established "Todash Darkness" of the Dark Tower novels).
Costume designer Janie Bryant had based the costume design for Pennywise's suit off of various eras throughout history that includes Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, and Victorian. The costume emphasizes Pennywise's immortality.
Cary Fukunaga's script changed the names of several main characters: Bill Denbrough to Willy Denbrough, Henry Bowers to Travis Bowers, 'Belch' Huggins to 'Snatch' Huggins, Patrick Hockstetter to Patrick Hockstettler, Will Hanlon to Leroy Hanlon and Greta Bowie to Gretta Bowie. Though most have been changed back by Andy Muschietti, the changes to 'Leroy' and 'Gretta' remain.
Due to the town being called "Derry", a name similar to the city in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland, the country had its own premiere of the film there. Before the movie began, there was special video from the child actors greeting the Derry audience.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is one of the main films referenced in this film. Before the script for Nightmare 5 was written and shot, Stephen King, who wrote the "It" novel on which this film and the 90s miniseries was based was approached by New Line to write the screenplay but declined. The task was then offered to Frank Miller who also declined.
To coincide with the 1989 primary setting, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is featured on the movie marquee. Director Andy Muschietti also revealed in an interview that a Freddy Krueger form was considered as a fear for one of the Losers Club members and one Pennywise would assume. However, it was ultimately scrapped out of not feeling right and wanting stick to the trauma and childhood fears without straying too meta.
For Pennywise's constant climactic fight transformations, visual effects company Rodeo FX augmented Bill Skarsgård's performance with 3D creature pieces. "In the end, you could have the shape of both characters, but both of them could have the textures of one or the other. With some simulated effects, we'd be able to balance all of that out and really time it to what Andy was looking for," explains VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois.
Stephen King based parts of the fictional town of Derry on real locations in Maine. The Derry standpipe, which plays an important part in the novel, is based on the Thomas Hill Standpipe in Bangor. While not being an integral part of the movie, the postcard Ben writes to Beverly features the actual Thomas Hill Standpipe. There is also a shot in the movie of Bill in front of the real Thomas Hill Standpipe.
When Beverly distracts Mr. Keene to help the boys steal some medical supplies, she mentions that Mr. Keene looks like Clark Kent and when she tries on his glasses, he says that she looks like Lois Lane, this could be a nod to their 1990 counterpart actors Tom Heaton and Annette O'Toole, Annette (The grown up Beverly Marsh in the 1990 film) played Martha Kent in Smallville, as Heaton (Mr. Keene from Part 2 of the 1990 film) appeared in an episode of Smallville titled Relic as Dexter "Dex" McCallum
After the "Rock Fight", when the losers are walking, a train can be seen in the background. One of the freight cars has a logo of Canadian Tire, a Canadian hardware store. The film was shot in Ontario, Canada.
In the aerial view of Derry town center (Port Hope, Ontario, Canada), the red brick building on the left, that is revealed behind trees, has a CG replacement of its central area by a weathered "DERRY" signage of some sort. In real life there is no "DERRY" signage, but a blank red brick area with four windows which are not seen on the movie building.
When Beverly is sitting in the school's bathroom, being bullied by other students. "Hate Clown" is written on the bathroom stall, in black. Beverly is holding a black marker, suggesting she might've written it.
The song 'You Got It (The Right Stuff)' by New Kids on the Block, which is referenced twice in the movie, was released as a single in the US in November 1988. The movie starts in October 1988 and then jumps to the summer of 1989.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
According to Bill Skarsgård, there was an unnerving deleted scene that involves Pennywise terrorizing a young mother in the 17th century. He states, "There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise]. The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I'm not the clown. I look more like myself." He goes on to say, "It's very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from." Timothy Simons, who auditioned for the role of Pennywise, confirmed this a few weeks after Skarsgård's revelation in an interview on a podcast. Simons states that he read in the script that the scene requires the character to threaten to kill a young woman and her entire family if she doesn't hand over her baby for feasting. He says, "It was [Pennywise] way back at the beginning of Derry, convincing a woman to give him her baby to eat. It was scary. The thing that was scariest about it was that it was very direct. It was, 'If you don't do this, these are the things that I'm going to do'. And they were all terrible'." Interestingly, one of the podcast's hosts, Bryan Safi, had also auditioned for the role of Pennywise and has stated that he still has a copy of the script in which a similar scene is present. The scene is one of the several scenes shot, yet ultimately not used in the film. It remains to be seen if the scene will show up on home video releases or in the sequel.
During the alley scene where The Losers are conversing and tending to Ben's wounds, behind them is another mural of the infamous Bradley Gang Shootout, which is frequently referenced in the novel. Upon closer inspection it reveals Pennywise hiding in plain sight. To the right of Stan's shoulder, Pennywise is shown to be watching the group and grinning. This implies that Pennywise has always been stalking the group even when they are completely unaware of it.
There's a gag alternate opening that involves Georgie and Pennywise in a hilarious "What If" scenario. The scene plays out as normal until Georgie actually takes the paper boat from Pennywise without incident and says, "See you later," to him. This leaves Pennywise disappointed and frustrated leading him to utter an obscenity.
Besides the opening scene in the sewer drain with Georgie and the scene towards the climax in which Bill shoots him in the forehead while in the sewer with the rest of the Losers, Pennywise does not blink.
Though he's been defeated twice by The Losers Club in the novel and his fate left ambiguous, it's heavily implied that Pennywise had somehow survived his final encounter with The Losers judging by his appearances and references that came afterwards in other King novels. Though he has sworn he would never write about Pennywise again, Stephen King has teased It in some of his other literary works such as "The Tommyknockers", "The Hearts in Atlantis", "Insomnia", "Dreamcatcher", and "The Dark Tower" series. This also indicates that the story of "It" takes place in a shared universe.
A deleted scene on the Blu-ray reveals that Henry Bowers killed the remaining members of his gang after murdering his father, explaining why they are not present when he confronts the Losers Club in the climax. In the novel, It murders his entire gang.
The end of the novel leaves the fate of Pennywise ambiguous, and even the first line of the story hints that he may still be alive. However, author Stephen King has sworn to never write about Pennywise again, stating that the character is too scary, even for him.
In light of the film referencing A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), and almost originally featuring Freddy Krueger as one of the forms that It takes on, audiences and critics have noticed a strong correlation between the two horror properties. It's noted that both It (2017) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), as well as their other variations, share striking similarities in terms of concept, plot, and the main villain. These similarities involve a demonic child murderer with the ability to evoke fear through supernatural and psychological means, to manipulate or possess people, warp reality, shapeshifts in accordance to one's fears as well as the guises of lost loved ones, has superhuman strength, and mainly preys upon children and teenagers. Furthermore, in both cases, the eldritch antagonist exhibits an unpredictable and sadistic type of personality, and enjoys engaging in sick and twisted humor. It's also noted that both horror properties share the theme of fear.
Director Andy Muschietti confirmed that many of "It's" forms, such as the werewolf and mummy, will be cut and replaced with new forms. He said that this is to make the terrors surprising, even for those who have read the book.
In the scene where Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is reading about the Easter explosion in the library, an old woman can be seen in the background turning toward him and staring while smiling widely. This could potentially be It, watching Ben's fear as he sees the little boy's decapitated head in the book.
When Andy Muschietti initially signed on to direct, the studio had wanted him to use exactly the same script that Cary Fukunaga had planned on using, with the only edits being the omission of the more controversial scenes that would've earned the film an NC-17 rating (such as Henry Bowers having sex with a sheep and ejaculating on a birthday cake, or Beverly's father attempting to rape her). Muschietti loved the structure and human drama of Fukunaga's version, but requested that he be allowed to slightly edit the script to make it more faithful to the novel, which the studio chose to allow. These changes included putting in the Leper and Bill's stutter, elements from the novel which Fukunaga had cut, as well as changing names back to their original novel forms (Will to Bill, Travis to Henry, Snatch to Belch, etc.) and changing the firework fight back to the "Apocalyptic Rock Fight." Muschietti also planned on including the "Smokehole" scene in which Richie and Mike use a Native American tradition to have a vision which details how It arrived on Earth millions of years ago. Due to the extensive CGI needed for this scene, it was deemed too expensive for the film and Muschietti was forced to cut it from the script.
All of the Losers (except Richie) have individual encounters with IT before they all enter the house on Neibolt St. Although most of the Losers' fears were changed for the film, Eddie's and Beverly's are the same as they are in the novel. While Eddie's is toned down, Beverly's is much more extreme.
Though director Andy Muschietti loved her audition, Sophia Lillis almost didn't get the role of Beverly Marsh. She was told by producers that she "wasn't girly enough", due to her pixie haircut and short stature. She flew to Toronto, Canada and auditioned again, this time wearing hair extensions and a dress. She got the role on the condition that she kept the hair extensions. However, when filming began, Muschietti had her cut off the extensions in her first bathroom scene.
There was an alternate version of the confrontation scene between The Losers and Pennywise towards the ending. According to Jaeden Lieberher (Bill), the scene involves Bill climbing up the tower of Pennywise's victims' belongings and almost dying after a confrontation with Pennywise. He states, "I did have this scene where I climb up a tower at the end. When I'm chasing after Georgie, I climb the tower and I'm at a one-on-one confrontation with Pennywise and then I say that I'm not afraid of him, that none of the Losers are afraid of him, and that's how we beat him. But they took those lines and put [them] toward the end, right after our big fight. So I had this whole thing where Bill Skarsgård is grabbing me and pushing me off the ledge, and I had to wear this harness. That was a more difficult scene." He says that this is one of his favorite scenes.
The new film adaptations will feature the more disturbing aspects of the novel that the original TV mini-series was not able to. These include the more extreme acts of violence committed by Pennywise and the bullies, as well as the dark sexual undertones present throughout the novel (Eddie Kaspbrak's encounter with the Leper, the relationship between Henry Bowers and Patrick Hockstetter, etc). Fortunately, the infamous child orgy scene from the novel was excluded from this film.
In a deleted scene involving Bill and his parents interacting after dinner, Bill brings up Georgie and the upcoming family vacation. His mother leaves the kitchen upset, and his father tells him that Georgie was looking forward to the trip. It's noted that this scene and the alternate ending added some dynamic to the Denbrough Family that was missing from the film. The scene suggested that Bill, like his friends, had been neglected and/or mistreated by his family in some way. Jaeden Lieberher has mentioned that Bill became invisible to his parents after Georgie's disappearance.
Some of the more graphic scenes in the book involving the children were left out of the movie, including Patrick giving Henry a handjob, Patrick suffocating his infant brother, Bev continuously being beaten by her father, and the infamous orgy scene with Bev in the sewer.
The "Slideshow" scene where Pennywise reveals himself through rapidly changing slides, is a nod to another Stephen King story, "The Sun Dog" in which a mangy and increasingly aggressive dog is revealed through a series of Polaroid photos before leaping out and attacking the protagonists. Pennywise also jumps out of the projection, hunched and barking like a dog before attacking.
At the end of the film, Beverly tells Bill that she's leaving Derry, after she had killed her abusive father in self-defense, to live with her aunt in Portland, Maine. Portland is the birthplace of Stephen King.
In an alternate ending, after bidding farewell to Beverly, Bill goes home to pack for the family trip which had been mentioned in a deleted scene. As Bill and family drive away in their car, the camera pans to the drain where Georgie was taken and it begins to rain.
During the scene where Bill is woken up in his bed by water dripping from the ceiling onto a drawing he made of Beverly, which is sitting on his pillow, the water drops cause the red pencil, used for her hair, to look like blood. This foreshadows a scene later in the film where Beverly, having been abducted by Pennywise, is woken up in the sewers by blood dripping on her face.
During the fight between The Losers Club and Pennywise at the climax, Pennywise momentarily morphs into Beverly's father, to which Beverly responded by shoving a length of re-bar into his mouth. In A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), during the scene where Alice confronts Freddy Krueger in a dream in which he has Yvonne hostage, Alice shoves the tail end of a pool skimmer into Freddy's mouth. There are many references to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) in this film, most notably in the scene where it is one of the movies advertised as playing at the Derry movie theater. The 'impalement-through-the-mouth' scene involving Alice can be seen briefly during the end credits of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and during the opening of Freddy vs. Jason (2003) along with other clips from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) film series.
Most of the parents of The Losers are shown at some point to be watching (or listening to) a TV show where the key word is 'clown' and 'all children should come to the sewers' is said. This would suggest that It is influencing the town's inhabitants in various ways on a daily basis.
Stan's (Wyatt Oleff) first encounter with It comes in the form of a painting in a style much like that of Italian painter, Amedeo Modigliani, whose paintings were an inspiration in the design of "Mama" in the film Mama (2013), which was also directed by Andy Muschietti. Stephen King said that this scene actually terrified him.
Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti fought hard (with help from the producers) to put more scenes from the novel into the movie. The Smoke Hole scene was demanded but the studio deemed it too expensive. Andy was able to put most scenes he requested back into his adaptation, such as Eddie's encounter with the Leper.
It's most true form is bright orange lights that exist in the macroverse called Dead Lights. Seeing these will cause any human to go insane. They make a brief appearance in the movie when Pennywise opens his mouth while holding onto Bev.
During the final fight scene, It attacks Mike by transforming his arms into giant spider-like legs and trying to stab Mike. This could be a reference to both the novel and 1990s mini-series in which the characters see It's true form, being a giant spider.
When The Losers are going to Ben's house, you can see in the background as the camera pans to Patrick Hockstetter's 'missing' poster that Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) trips over his bike while placing it on the ground.
In an extended scene of Stan's Bar Mitzvah, not included in the film, Stan delivers a speech in which he talks about indifference, and how a lot of the adults in town are selfish and are uncaring of the awful things happening in Derry. This is intercut with scenes of the other Losers Club members doing various activities. He makes a scene and abruptly leaves. The only person who applauds is Ritchie.
The famous Smoke Hole scene explaining It's alien origin from the novel will be omitted from this adaptation due to budget constraints. Because of this, it's speculated that the climactic Ritual of Chüd from the novel will be omitted as well due to it's ties to the Smoke Hole scene. These two scenes were also missing from the 1990 TV mini-series.
When Georgie loses the boat down the storm drain, he says "Bill's gonna kill me". When Pennywise/It uses Georgie's boat to beckon him closer, he says "Bill's gonna kill you". In the sewer scene towards the end of the film, It morphs into Georgie while confronting Bill, leading to Bill shooting It (while appearing as Georgie) in the head.
Though both adaptations are based off of the novel, this film and the It (1990) miniseries have similar scenes that were played out and arranged in different manners from one another as well as the novel. For instance: In the miniseries, Mike is shown to be running away from Henry Bowers and his gang until he collapses into the embrace of the Losers Club who protects him and fends off the Bowers Gang by engaging in a rock fight with them. In this film, it's Ben who's running away from Bowers and his gang to which he ends up losing the gang when he collapses in the creek near the sewage pipe where the four original Losers Club members are investigating Georgie's disappearance, and they decide to help him with his injuries. In a separate scene, the Losers do end up protecting Mike from Bowers and his gang when they find him being assaulted by them and engage in the rock fight with them. In the miniseries, after Pennywise's photo album threat and attempted attack upon the Losers Club in the woods, Bill makes a tearful challenge towards It which prompted his friends to comfort him, forming a group hug. In this movie, the slide projector is a stand-in for the photo album and shows Pennywise attacking the group in Bill's garage. However, the group embrace is placed at the climax of the film. After the Losers defeat Pennywise in the sewers, Bill breaks down in grief which prompted his friends to comfort him, forming a group hug. In the miniseries, the scene where the Losers are in the sewers the first time meditating in a circle in preparation to face Pennywise, he ends up taking Stan hostage. In this film, despite attacking Stan in the sewer tunnels when the Losers were searching for Beverly, he ultimately attacks and takes Bill hostage during the confrontation.
The role of Vincent "Boogers" Taliendo, one of Henry Bowers' gang, is completely omitted in this film. Patrick Hockstetter takes on his role even though in the book he was more of loner who only occasionally hung out with Henry's gang.
The film explains It's mantra of 'You'll float too'. In the climax of the film in the Derry sewers where The Losers defeat It, the other missing children are seen floating around the sewer rubbish pile. This is the effect of It's Deadlights. Beverly is seen floating also after being rendered catatonic by It's Deadlights.
The alternate ending, which takes us back to the drain where Georgie was taken by Pennywise, is said to be the perfect final shot due to the notion that it brings the movie full circle and implies that anything can happen.
Patrick Hockstetter's character and death in the film are substantially changed from the novel, in which his violent tendencies featured the murder of his infant brother by suffocation. Also in the novel but not in the film are a homosexual act with Henry, resulting in him being beaten and threatened by Henry, the murder of cats, dogs, and other animals, which he deposits into an abandoned refrigerator in a Derry quarry, and ultimately his death; where he is killed by It, in the form of large flying leeches, which drill out portions of him while siphoning his blood. In this film adaptation, much of this is left out and Patrick instead meets his demise when he encounters It in a sewer tunnel, having become separated from the Bowers Gang while looking for Ben Hanscom. Initially appearing as the dead children of Derry, It then appears as Pennywise hiding behind a "I 'heart' Derry" balloon. The balloon pops and It proceeds to devour Patrick.
Unlike the 1990 mini-series adaption, the film features on-screen blood and gore, specifically in relation to the deaths of George Denborough (whose death was off-screen in the 1990 mini-series) and other victims including Betty Ripsom. The film also features Henry Bowers carving his name into Ben Hanscom's stomach, a scene which begun but never finished out of omission in the 1990 adaption.
The order in which the Losers' Club leave after the blood oath is the order in which they die or are injured in the book. Stanley leaves first, who commits suicide after learning that It has returned. Eddie leaves next, who dies in the final confrontation between It and The Losers Club. Mike leaves third, being heavily injured in a fight between the Losers and Henry Bowers, but ultimately survives. The rest of the members survive and are relatively uninjured by the end of the book.
Mike (Chosen Jacobs) encounters It in the form of his burning parents and other fire victims trying to escape from behind a padlocked door. This is likely a reference to the Black Spot nightclub. In the novel, Mike's father tells him the story of the Black Spot fire, which was started by the Maine Legion of White Decency. This was also mentioned by Ben in the film while he was talking about his Derry research.
The original novel portrayed "It" as manifesting in the forms of various classic Universal 1930s-1940s horror monsters, including Wolfman (though technically "It's" manifestation is of the shapeshifter from I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)), Frankenstein's Monster, Creature from the Black Lagoon's Gill-Man and the Mummy. All these forms are omitted from the film except for the Mummy, which is featured attacking Ben in the climax.
The first one to die in the film is Georgie Denbrough (younger brother of Bill Denbrough), right after losing the paper boat. One of his last lines is "Bill's gonna kill me!" The actor who plays Pennywise (who kills Georgie) is played by Bill Skarsgård.
80s references: During a scene toward the end of the film where Pennywise rises up to loom over The Losers the movement of his body and arms is reminiscent of a scene from John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). Writing over the 'S' in 'Loser' on his cast, Eddie draws a big red 'V' - an obvious reference to the cult sci-fi series. The scene toward the end where The Losers part ways in a series of fades suggests a reference to the final shot of River Phoenix's Chris Chambers at the end of Stand by Me (1986).
A homage to the werewolf form taken from the novel comes in the sequence of Pennywise advancing towards the Losers after initially attempting to eat Eddie. The clown's arm morphs into a hairy, extended werewolf-like hands which can also be seen in the promos and trailers of the film.