‘It’ Director Andy Muschietti Discusses Why He Didn’t Seek Stephen King’s Approval

It, Pennywise
Image: New Line/Warner Bros.

It is getting closer! On September 8th Pennywise the Clown will be back in action and horrifying theater goers across the country. Being touted as this year’s biggest thriller, It has fans anxiously waiting to see how this film remake will compare to the original screen adaptation of Stephen King’s epic tale of terror. Dedicated fans of Mr. King have learned to accept that sometimes the movie will never live up to the book but always hold hope that perhaps it will. From what has been shown thus far, It definitely has the chops to strike fear into the heart of the most discerning horror fan.

It, Pennywise, Andy Muschietti
It director Andy Muschietti in action. Credit: COLLIDER.com

In a recent interview with Haleigh Foutch from COLLIDER.com, director Andy Muschetti discusses his thoughts on re-making It.

How he saw Pennywise the Clown

Yeah. Well, the fact that this entity has been around for thousands of years… I’m more drawn— I never— aesthetically, I don’t dig the 20th century clown. I think it looks cheap, and it’s too related to social events and stuff and circus and stuff, which circus is fine, but I’m more aesthetically attracted to the old time, like the 19th century clown. And given that this guy has been around for centuries, I wondered myself why, why not, having an upgrade that was 1800s.

It, Pennywise
Image: New Line Cinema

Designing a new Pennywise

I had a sketch. One sketch. It was like a baby. It was like a Gerber baby. With something very off, because his eyes were wide-eyed – the eyes like, slightly apart. And then, to be honest, it didn’t evolve much from that point. And then the Pennywise you saw today is special because his hair is crazy, but the rest of the movie is different. I’m playing a little bit with his mood, and his mood sometimes in terms of the hair. There’s like two hairs maybe. But the official shape is more like a weird baby.

It, Pennywise
Image: New Line Cinema

The Stephen King Universe (Dark Tower anyone?)

I was never too crazy about the mythology, but it is mentioned, and the turtle appears, as a Lego. It’s a Lego turtle. It’s a presence that’s there in the key moments of the story. Especially when— there’s a moment where they’re all together— well, you’ll see in the movie. I won’t spoil you.

Not Involving Stephen King

I’m very happy making an adaptation, my interpretation of the story, and I would be thrilled to meet Stephen King, but there comes a time in the process where you start feeling good with your interpretation of it, and your contribution to the story, and it doesn’t feel like I want to discuss my ideas with him, you know? I don’t know. It feels like something that I would be embarrassed to tell him, you know? “Your words and your moments don’t work,” right? [laughs].

It, Pennywise
Image: New Line Cinema

It is fun

Yeah. It is fun. It’s a horror movie, but it’s quite emotional too, and there’s a lot of humor. And I’m not saying this in a Hollywood way. It’s just part of the essence of the mood that I wanted to stick to, and the characters themselves, Richie and Henry and Ben, these are characters that are colorful, and Stanley with OCD, there’s all kinds of neuroses in the group, that if you don’t show them the way they are, with certain lightness, it gets too dour. And also, I have to say, the actors that I’m working with, they share the DNA of their own characters. In a way that there’s a point where I like to make them improvise, and the stuff that comes out of that freedom is amazing.

Visit COLLIDER.com to check out the full interview. Be sure to grab your tickets… It is coming to a theater near you!


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