There has never been any shortage of film adaptations of Stephen King novels. Some are very good (“Carrie,” “The Shining”), some are very bad (“Maximum Overdrive,” anyone?). Actually, there’s much more mediocre and bad in the King filmography, but his material is too irresistible for Hollywood to stay away from it–sometimes twice.
King’s 1986 novel “IT” was previously filmed as a 1990 TV miniseries, with this cast: John Ritter, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid, Annette O’Toole, Richard Thomas and Tim Curry. Wow, that is a veritable time capsule of names from the period. I don’t think it’s considered to be great, but not horrible either. I doubt the constraints of network TV were a good fit for a King adaptation.
Warner Brothers bought the rights to the book in 2009, with plans to turn it into a single movie, but now The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Cary Fukunaga (last year’s “Jane Eyre”) has been given the go-ahead to make it into two films. Considering that this is a book which defines “massive tome,” that’s probably the best approach.
If you’re not familiar with “IT”–and you may not be, considering the vast breadth of the King oeuvre, it is described on King’s website this way:
A promise made twenty-eight years ago calls seven adults to reunite in Derry, Maine, where as teenagers they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Unsure that their Losers Club had vanquished the creature all those years ago, the seven had vowed to return to Derry if IT should ever reappear. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that summer return as they prepare to do battle with the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers once more.
I read it a long time ago and thought, “Hmm, this would be better if it was shorter.” It has its good moments, though, and I always thought there might be a good movie–or two–in it.
Fukunaga will write the scripts with Chase Palmer.