The long-awaited trailer for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic 1986 novel is finally here. And we can’t wait for more. The two-and-a-half-minute teaser opens much like the first pages of the novel: six-year-old Georgie Denbrough chases a paper boat as it sails down the street during a rainstorm. When it’s washed away down a storm drain, we get our first glimpse of the iconic villain, Pennywise the clown—portrayed this time around by Bill Skarsgård.
The rest of the trailer introduces us to the town of Derry, Maine, which has mysteriously high rate of missing people: “six times the national average… and that’s just grownups.” We also meet The Losers’ Club, the children attempting to uncover the heart of the town’s horrors.
The immediate response to the trailer release for Stephen King’s It shows just how much anticipation has been building since Variety first announced the film’s production back in 2009. According to Daily Mail, the trailer has broken the record for the most views in a 24-hour period. With 197 million views, it surpassed the previous record holder, The Fate of the Furious, which earned an impressive 139 million views.
The excitement surrounding the trailer seems to come as a sigh of relief after concerns that the film’s production may have halted. Cary Fukunaga was originally set to direct the film, co-writing the script alongside Gary Dauberman. By 2015, however, Fukunaga had left the project amid rumors of studio budget cuts and pressure to produce a more conventional blockbuster. In response, King tweeted “IT may be dead—or undead.” Later, Will Poulter, who was originally cast as Pennywise, left the film in 2016 due to scheduling conflicts.
These departures were met with several fresh faces. Screenwriter Chase Palmer is reported to make his debut with his rewrite of the original script, while the role of director has been filled by Andrés Muschietti, whose 2008 short film Mamá caught the attention of Guillermo del Toro and prompted him to produce a feature-length adaptation in 2013.
So far, reception for the trailer release has been largely positive, although some have their concerns. Vox, in particular, has critiqued the trailer’s heavy use of jump scares, which seem all the more cliché next to more cerebral and unconventional horror releases, such as The Witch or Get Out.
Still, fans have been quick to post their reactions to YouTube, and there have been several side-by-side comparison videos—such as this one from ComicBook.com—which reveal how thoughtfully the 2017 footage seems to have been adapted from the original 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry.
And then there’s this hilarious (and somehow more unsettling) recut trailer, which substitutes Mike Meyer’s live-action Cat in the Hat (2002) for Skarsgård’s Pennywise.
It comes in the wake of several other notable King adaptations, including the third remake of Carrie in 2013, Spike’s 2017 series The Mist, and the upcoming The Dark Tower film, starring Idris Elba, which is due out in theaters in early August. It is scheduled to premiere a month later on September 8.
P.S. What the trailer doesn’t reveal is that It is anticipated to be a two-part story, with the first movie following The Losers’ Club as kids and the sequel depicting them years later. We’re looking forward to seeing where they take the story!
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