Trigger warning: if you have an irrational fear of clowns, look away. Otherwise (or if you’re just feeling daring), you’ll definitely want to take a look at Pennywise the clown in the first trailer for It, based on the iconic 1986 novel by Stephen King.
The new adaptation stars Finn Wolfhard from Netflix’s Stranger Things, along with Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jack Dylan Grazer. Bill Skarsgård plays the terrifying role of Pennywise.
The film is actually only part one of the story. King’s massive 1,100-page novel takes place in two different time periods, with the first part (“The Losers’ Club”) featuring the protagonists as children.
Pennywise returns in the novel’s second part to terrorize the group as adults. The plan is to film this as a follow-up movie after It hits theaters.
The trailer is short and gives only brief glimpses of the larger plot. We learn there are multiple children missing in the town of Derry, and get a few terrifying looks at Pennywise himself.
For fans of a certain age, it’s worth noting that this is not the first time It has been adapted for the screen. In 1990, ABC aired a four-hour miniseries version of the story featuring Tim Curry as Pennywise.
The miniseries received wide critical praise and has become a cult classic. Curry’s horrifying portrayal of Pennywise instilled a lifelong fear of clowns in many a viewer (this writer included).
Nonetheless, there are many scenes and situations in King’s original novel that are impossible to show on network television. So even though it’s easy to criticize this as yet another unnecessary Hollywood remake, it’s entirely possible this version could be even more terrifying.
Need another reason to look forward to the new version of It?
Andy Muschietti's remake of IT (actually it's Part 1–The Losers' Club) succeeds beyond my expectations. Relax. Wait. And enjoy.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 7, 2017
King himself has seen the film and gave it a ringing endorsement on Twitter earlier this month.
It will arrive in theaters on September 8, 2017.