The first preview for “It,” a horror movie based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, arrived Wednesday — and it’s appropriately terrifying.
“It,” for the unfamiliar, tells the story of a group of children in a town in Maine who come together after people in the neighborhood begin to disappear. This brings them in direct conflict with Pennywise, a clown who captures children and devours them.
The book was previously brought to the screen in 1990, in a TV mini-series that starred Tim Curry as the horrifying villain. Both have undoubtedly contributed to a rise in coulrophobia.
The new adaptation — due in September — appears to double down on the circus horror. The trailer offers a sense of foreboding almost immediately. Dark skies, a rainstorm and a muted color palette all suggest something ominous lurking just offscreen. Even if you know what’s coming, it’s terrifying when Pennywise, this time played by Bill Skarsgard, pops up from the sewers.
The preview never gets less creepy. There’s always tension in the sustained string chords of the soundtrack, and it imbues everything with suspense and darkness. At one point, even a red balloon appears unbearably sinister.
But the most frightening moment belongs to a malfunctioning slide projector that starts to advance itself. The camera cuts between slides on a screen and panicked children trying to shut it off. The music builds as Pennywise’s face finally appears.
“What are you afraid of?” The trailer ultimately asks. As if it doesn’t already know.
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New Line and Warner Bros. have announced a release date for their adaptation of Stephen King’s “It.” The movie, which was originally supposed to be directed by Cary Fukunaga, hits theaters Sept. 18, 2017.
WB has also set its “C.H.I.P.S.” reboot to bow on Aug. 11, 2017 and an untitled comedy for Dec. 22, 2017.
“It” has been on a roller coaster after losing Fukunaga last year over creative differences. The studio quickly replaced him with Andres Muschietti as director and sources now tell Variety production is set to get under way this summer.
The original King novel followed seven children known as The Losers Club who come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise. The idea is to have two films, one focused on the children and the other focusing on them as adults when they come back to their hometown to face the monster again.
Sources have also indicated that Will Poulter, who was originally tapped to portray Pennywise in Fukunaga’s version, has dropped out of the film due to a scheduling conflict and that execs are currently meeting with actors to portray the classic King villain.
Roy Lee and Dan Lin are producing along with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith.