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Stephen King’s IT Set to Become Two Films for New Line Cinema

Stephen King’s epic 1986 novel It is one step closer to getting remade for the big screen. The novel was previously turned into a 1990 ABC miniseries that had more to do with an entire generation of kids being terrified of clowns than any other movie in recent memory, thanks to an amazing performance from Tim Curry as the evil Pennywise. According to the Hollywood Reporter, It has been in development at Warner Brothers for something like five years, but most recently Cary Fukunaga signed on to develop it as two separate movies. Since then, Cary Fukunaga has become a hot name around Hollywood, having written and directed the film Sin Nombre as well as the first season of HBO’s True Detective. It’s not clear whether he’s sticking around, but Warners would be wise to keep him.

Warner Brothers is now shifting the production of It to New Line Cinema, which is starting to become Warner’s boutique label for horror films. This would be fitting, as New Line was built almost entirely around the success of one franchise: A Nightmare on Elm. Street. With the success of the Freddy Krueger movies behind them in the nineties, New Line became a major indie label in the vein of Miramax. Just as Miramax was bought by Disney, New Line was gobbled up by Warner Brothers, but was allowed to run independently. Unfortunately, a series of flops after the Lord of the Rings films brought a lot of money to the studio forced Warners to end New Line in everything but name a couple of years ago. Now things are coming full circle, as New Line is set to become a horror label, much as they were when they began. Last year’s hit The Conjuring was via New Line, and now it looks like It will be among the next.

Stephen King’s novel is about a group of six kids in the late fifties who are attacked by an entity that appears to them in different forms, preying upon their worst fears. (The most well known form, thanks to the 1990 miniseries, is that of Pennywise the Clown.) The kids narrowly defeat the creature, only to find it has returned in their adult lives. The book is split between the 1957-58 and 1984-85, although I imagine they could change the time period for the movie without losing much. The current plan is two release It as two films — one set in the past with the kids, the other with the adults. No production start date has been given, but expect to be hearing a lot more on this one soon.

Now…who the heck can replace Tim Curry as Pennywise?? Those are some big clown shoes to fill.

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  1. It’ll be interesting to see if the movie’s storyline is closer to the novel or just a rehash of the old one 

  2. Michael Burg says:

    I’d give give the role to Doug Jones! He perfprms amazingly well in make-up, and if he just brings half of the creepiness he brought to Fawn or the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, it’d bring clown nightmares to a whole new generation of children!

  3. Was anybody else startled by that Pennywise photo on their Facebook feed? Don’t lie.

  4. Leah Pratt says:

    I love the idea of someone taking another stab at this. While I love Tim Curry, even he was not enough to save how ridiculous the TV movie was. I spent the entire time giggling at everything going on and pointing at the lead’s mole. 

  5. MrSpace says:

    Huh. So now that it’s a movie with an R rating, does this mean they’ll include the kiddie orgy scene from the book?

  6. Chris Hart says:

    If they don’t get Tim Curry to reprise his role of Pennywise, I think a good choice would be Andy Serkis. He is great character actor and could make the character of Pennywise very creepy in my opinion. 

    • vicki says:

      Tim curry suffered a stroke and he is still recovering from it. I don’t think he will be doing any roles for awhile.. Im sad to say

    • Derek says:

      YES! If Andy Serkis can make a CGI character creepy as hell, just imagine what he can do with clown makeup.

  7. Anthony says:

    It doesn’t matter who they get to play the Clown IT because they’re going to EFF it up anyway if IT isn’t Tim Curry.  The *REAL* question is:  What are they going to do about that stupid ass spider at the end???  That was the WORST non-creepy, non-scary IT every.  If they fix that, they can just cut the new and improved spider into the old mini-series and have a true masterpiece.
    Curry still gives me the creepiest nightmares… ew.

    • Derek says:

      Tim Curry was the only good thing about the TV adaptation, but he’s hardly the only creepy guy in Hollywood. Remember, too, that in the book, IT wasn’t JUST a clown – also a werewolf, a mummy, and a gillman among other incarnations.

  8. gdkool says:

    its Make up! Tim Curry could play Pennywise again

  9. David says:

    Filing this one under who cares.  More proof that the word “Epic” is overused.

  10. David says:


  11. Bill says:

    The book goes back and forth between the 50’s and 80’s.  The past and present relate to each other.  Separating the timelines into two movies will not only disrupt the flow of the story, but separate the relation between their childhood and adult lives.  I do not approve of this…

    • Paul McDowell says:

      Where does it say each movie will occur in a different time line? 

    • gahree says:

      The mini-series did the same thing. There will probably be some cross-over with the adults and kids appearing in both. It is a nice way to break it into 2 parts IMHO.

      • Morley says:

        The mini series most certainly not do the same thing.  The first half did show the lives of the kids and the initial battle with Pennywise, but it was done through flashbacks, all the while going through a new experience with Pennywise as adults.

  12. Beth says:

    Alan Tudyk