Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) was the first one out of all the kids to work with Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise). During their scene, Grazer would cry and gag while Skarsgård was right in his face yelling and drooling. Skarsgård was genuinely concerned for Grazer and after the scene ended, asked him if he was okay. Grazer looked right at him and said, "Love what you're doing with the character!" Skarsgård was left confused and impressed at Grazer's attitude, calling the child actors "little professionals."
Some lines of dialogue were improvised by the actors. Much of the Richie / Eddie banter was improv.
Sophia Lillis says that she had to stand on a box in some scenes as, at only five feet tall, she is the shortest of the cast.
The teeth prosthetics that Bill Skarsgård wore as Pennywise made him drool profusely. Director Andy Muschietti liked this as that the drooling adds onto the ravenous nature of Pennywise.
Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie) is the youngest in the movie and stated that he wasn't as scared of Pennywise as he thought he would be. He said he actually had a fun time doing his scenes, and that Bill Skarsgård was always joking around.
Bill Skarsgård did research into the "psycho universe" to find his own way to perform Pennywise. He got inspiration from The Shining (1980), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Bill Skarsgård wanted to make sure that his performance as Pennywise was convincing for audiences. He states, "In order for this movie to be as effective as the book and the series, I have to scare a whole generation. My take was that Pennywise functions very simply. Nothing much is going on in terms of what he's thinking - he's animalistic and instinctive."
(at around 1h 23 mins) The refrigerator scene was filmed involving Bill Skarsgård partially contorting his body and the use of CGI. Attached to wires, Skarsgård was filmed lying at the bottom of the refrigerator on his back. It was planned for the wires to pull him out of the refrigerator and rotate his body as he stepped out. His actual body was digitally removed and replaced with a digital body. Portions of the body were digitally built in order for limbs and body parts to be maneuvered in various and intricate ways. The unfolding was hand-animated. Skarsgård's head ultimately remained intact in the shot. VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois states, "I actually suggested to the animation supervisor Yvon Jardel that he animate in reverse." He mentions further, "Pennywise would step back into the fridge so that he can push himself inside. It gave a better choreography to enter and fold onto itself than to try to do it the other way." Brisebois says that he knew this was going to become an iconic horror shot.
When the film was released in Germany and on the heels of the bizarre controversy in Russia concerning the Ronald McDonald/Pennywise complaint, Burger King Deutschland took it upon themselves to tease their rival, McDonalds, by giving an impromptu message at the end of the film that reads, "The moral is: Never trust a clown" which is accompanied by the Burger King logo. The audience were left bewildered and amused. It was joked that the film became the longest Burger King ad ever.
The woman in the painting, Judith the Flute Lady, who's portrayed by Tatum Lee, was originally supposed to have some minor visual effects augmentations. Her eyes were digitally altered and warped apart to give off an unnatural, unnerving look. However, Rodeo FX went on to add more digital elements onto the character to the point where most of the physical performance was almost entirely replaced.
Bill Skarsgård had auditioned in Hollywood for the role of Pennywise. This required him to wear clown makeup to the audition. He proclaims, "There was something kind of humiliating and absurd about the whole thing. I'm an actor auditioning in Hollywood, and I'm driving with clownface on. It's kind of a metaphor for what the profession of acting feels like."
Grossed $123 million over its North American opening weekend, easily a record for a horror film and more than double that of previous record holder Paranormal Activity 3 (2011), and also the second largest R-rated opening ever, behind only Deadpool (2016). Box office analysts also estimate it would have earned 5-6% more if Hurricane Irma hadn't closed a significant number of theaters in Florida.
Shipped to cinemas under the code name "POUND FOOLISH" a literal opposite to Pennywise.
Around the time of the theatrical release of this film, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, there was a prank that involved a series of red balloons tied to sewer grates throughout the town mimicking one of the book covers of the "It" novel. The prank had frightened the citizens, including the Lititz police force.
While on his way to the audition and wearing clown makeup, Bill Skarsgård, at the suggestion of director Andy Muschietti, tried out different types of maniacal laughs. He ended up getting perplexed stares from creeped out pedestrians. He says, "Andy [Muschietti] had also asked to explore clown laughter, so I'm sitting in the car and I feel ridiculous, but I thought I might as well absorb it and use it. So I just started to laugh like crazy in the car, as I'm just bearing down on pedestrians."
Bill Skarsgård actually was able to smile in such a weird way that it really intrigued the director and now it is Pennywise's iconic smile. Skarsgård had originally developed the smile when he was a child and was trying to scare his brothers.
The outside wall of the butcher shop has a large mural on the side of it commemorating the shootout and murder of the Bradley Gang in 1929. This is taken directly from the book and is mentioned by Mike in his recollection of the past violence that has happened in Derry. In the book, the townspeople of Derry ambush a gang of bank robbers coming to purchase ammo in their town and massacre them in a blaze of crossfire.
Pennywise's costume in the film is much more faithful to the description in the novel, in comparison to the Tim Curry costume in the 1990 TV miniseries, including his orange hair, and the orange pom-poms going down his silver suit. The miniseries only included the orange pom-poms.
(at around 25 mins) In the scene of Ben in the library, one of the photos in the Derry history book is in fact a Civil War photo of dead soldiers at Gettysburg. They photo-shopped the Easter eggs around the corpses.
The film's unexpected success caused an unexpected newfound interest in future Stephen King related projects after a long period of mostly failed projects.
The cast of the "Losers Club" were asked whom they wanted to play their adult parts: Finn Wolfhard (Richie Tozier) said Bill Hader, Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh) said Jessica Chastain, Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon) said Chadwick Boseman, Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak) said Jake Gyllenhaal, Wyatt Oleff (Stanley Uris) said Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom) said Chris Pratt, and Jaeden Martell (Bill Denbrough) said Christian Bale. Wolfhard and Lillis are the only actors of the young cast who had eventually gotten their wish, as that Hader and Chastain ended up being cast as the older versions of Richie and Beverly, respectively, in the sequel, It Chapter Two (2019).
The Duffer Brothers originally wanted to direct the movie, but were overlooked as they were not "established" enough. They went on to create Stranger Things (2016), which co-stars Finn Wolfhard (Richie) and pays homage to Stephen King. They also worked with Alexander Skarsgård, brother of Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise), on their debut feature film Hidden (2015).
Director Andy Muschietti stated in an interview that he specifically cast Finn Wolfhard to play Richie Tozier because he immediately recognized the shared similarities between Wolfhard and Richie in that Wolfhard too, had a burning need inside to express himself and be funny in real life just like the character Richie Tozier does.
Director Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgård separate from the child actors up until they had to shoot scenes together. On the day of their first scenes together, the production staff warned the kids about how scary Skarsgård could be while in character. The kids brushed this off, claiming that they knew he was just an actor in a costume and that they were professionals and would be fine. However, when the time came for Skarsgård to be Pennywise for the scene, the kids were genuinely terrified.
The number 27 is often associated with this story. This film was released 27 years after the original 1990 television mini-series. In the book, it is mentioned that "It" returns to Derry approximately every 27 years. Jonathan Brandis, who played young Bill in the original film, died at 27 years old. This movie was released one month after Bill Skarsgård's (Pennywise) 27th birthday. Jaeden Martell (Bill), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben) and Nicholas Hamilton (Henry) are all 27 years younger than the actors who portrayed the same characters in the miniseries (Jonathan Brandis (Bill), Brandon Crane (Ben), Jarred Blancard (Henry)). The official U.S. release date is 9/8/2017 and 9+8+2+0+1+7 = 27. The second film will be released on 9/6/2019, and 9+6+2+0+1+9=27.
About six months before the film was released, Stephen King (the author of the original novel) was shown a screening. Afterwards, he said that the film exceeded his expectations and that the producers had done "a wonderful job."
Although Bill Skarsgård was on set for the majority of production, he didn't actually begin filming his scenes until more than half of shooting was complete. The time before he actually started filming was spent working with Andy Muschietti and the producers in order to perfect his portrayal of Pennywise, as Skarsgård stated that he felt an immense amount of pressure to play the role perfectly due to Tim Curry's well-regarded performance in It (1990).
Bill Skarsgård had admitted that he was so into his performance as Pennywise that he would have constant nightmares during and after production.
Despite playing the villain, the cast and crew have said that Bill Skarsgård was extremely polite and friendly between takes and made an effort to ensure his performance didn't upset the child actors.
Costume designer Janie Bryant had based the costume design for Pennywise's suit on various eras throughout history that includes Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, and Victorian. The costume emphasizes Pennywise's immortality.
According to director Andy Muschietti in an interview with GQ, two of the most difficult scenes to shoot were the storm drain scene with Georgie and Pennywise and the flooded basement scene with Bill and Pennywise. These scenes both involved a lot of water and many crucial timing elements.
(at around 24 mins) When Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is in the library, he looks out the window and sees 4 of the Losers ride by on their bikes. You can hear Bill scream "Hiyo, Silver, AWAY," which is a nod to the original novel.
Due to the film's huge success, Warner Bros. distribution head Jeffrey L. Goldstein announced plans to put the film in even more theaters around Halloween 2017.
Director Andy Muschietti confirmed that Bill Skarsgård spoke in Swedish sometimes while in character as Pennywise.
Shortly before the film's release in early September, at the Fan Expo Canada event, Tim Curry was asked about his thoughts on Bill Skarsgård's take as Pennywise. He states, "Well, I like [Bill] Skarsgard very much. I think he's very clever. It'll be interesting on what sort of clown face he puts on because it's not an obvious clown face at all. I've seen the trailer and you can't really see him at all. So I'm fascinated to see it. He's very good."
(at around 25 mins) When Ben is flipping through the "Old History of Derry" book in the library, he briefly pauses on a picture of the 1908 Easter festivities (pre-explosion). In that picture, you can see a caravan cart that says "Pennywise the Dancing Clown" on it, with the image of a clown face (but not the evil Pennywise). We later see this cart when Beverly wakes up in the sewer lair (at around 1h 45 mins). This 1908 cart could be the inspiration of It's form as Pennywise.
(at around 50 mins) The scene where Pennywise is holding the red balloons in the style of an upside down pyramid when Eddie encounters him for the first time was done using a mixture of practical effects and CGI. The first six balloons going upward in a triangular fashion that Bill Skarsgård hold are real. Yet, the rest were computer generated balloons.
(at around 1h 22 mins) When Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard) is in the "clown room," there is a mannequin dressed as the 1990 mini-series version of Pennywise the Clown, played by Tim Curry, sitting on the floor (left side of the screen).
Though CGI was used in some scenes, Bill Skarsgård was actually able to move his eyes in different directions in some scenes at the behest of Andy Muschietti. At first, it was uncertain if he was able to achieve this effect on his own, yet Skarsgård assures, "I can do that." The purpose of this was to add to an already unsettling and disturbing look to Pennywise.
Throughout the film many movie posters are seen in the background, either at the theatre or in Bill's room. These include Beetlejuice (1988), Gremlins (1984), Batman (1989), Lethal Weapon (1987) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989). All of these films are either owned by Warner Bros. or New Line Cinema, the two distributors behind the film.
Both Wyatt Oleff and Jack Dylan Grazer originally auditioned for the role of Bill Denbrough. Yet, they ended up getting the roles of Stanley Uris and Eddie Kaspbrak, respectively. And Jaeden Martell originally auditioned for the role of Eddie Kaspbrak, yet ended up getting the role of Bill Denbrough.
Due to the massive success of the film, Andy Muschietti was so confident that a sequel would happen that he began meeting with Bill Skarsgård and Gary Dauberman to discuss production on Chapter 2 before it had even been officially greenlit by the studio.
According to Andy Muschietti and Bill Skarsgård, there are several scenes of additional footage that were shot but didn't make it into the theatrical cut. For the home video releases, a Director's Cut will be released with the additional footage.
The scenes at the Bowers house are actually the first scenes filmed and one of the very last scenes filmed was the opening scene.
A live-action 16 foot tall set was built for the scene where the floating children are presented in the sewers. Rodeo FX then digitally enhanced it.
Hugo Weaving and Bill Skarsgård were the two finalists for the role of Pennywise after Will Poulter left the project. Skarsgård eventually got the role, reportedly due to his ability to play a more fun and child-like Pennywise, in addition to a creepy Pennywise, while Weaving reportedly fell short in playfulness and could only play creepy.
Bill Skarsgård has described Pennywise as being "Such an extreme character. Inhumane." He added, "It's beyond even a sociopath, because he's not even human. He's not even a clown. I'm playing just one of the beings that It creates. It truly enjoys taking the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt." Skarsgård elaborated on his connection to the children, saying, "There's a childishness to the character, because he's so closely linked to the kids. The clown is a manifestation of the children's imaginations, so there's something child-like about that."
A few weeks after the release of this film in Moscow, Burger King Russia filed a complaint in an attempt to have the film banned, citing that the McDonald's mascot, Ronald McDonald, looks too similar to Pennywise and the film was thus endorsing their competition.
There were rumors at one point that Bill Skarsgård would not be returning to play Pennywise in the second film due to concerns that the role was negatively affecting his mental health. However, a week before the film was released, Skarsgård confirmed that he was officially attached to the sequel and had already began meeting with director Andy Muschietti to discuss ideas for the character and the film.
Due to the success of this film, the film's producer, Roy Lee along with writer/director James Wan have plans for another Stephen King related adaptation, The Tommyknockers.
Director Andy Muschietti has stated that he intends to make a supercut version with this film and It Chapter Two (2019) using extra footage from the latter film and scenes that haven't yet been shot. He has also stated that he will have the films go back and forth using flashbacks, similar to the format of the novel.
Similar to Freddy Krueger, Pennywise uses fear to terrorize and murder his victims. It can be whatever fear that person has. It's also noted that both characters use the personal insecurities and grief of their victims to make them more vulnerable and easier to kill.
When screenwriter David Kajganich was attached to the project in the early stages, he proclaimed that Warner Bros. wanted the film to be rated R in order to stay true to the source material. He states, "The R rating means we can really honor the book and engage with the traumas (both the paranormal ones and those they deal with at home and school) that these characters endure." Though Kajganich would eventually leave the project, the sentiments expressed by him concerning the R rating remained and have ultimately benefited the film.
Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgård isolated from the rest of the cast/crew during the beginning of filming, the exception being a three person costume/makeup team. This was to make sure Skarsgård's performance was shocking to the other actors, as well as to avoid leaked photos. Although Skarsgård thought this was a good strategy, he admitted that he felt very lonely during this time, and was sad that he couldn't bond with the rest of the people involved, something he says is one of his favorite parts of making a movie. These feelings were intensified when he heard about how much fun everyone else was having without him and how they all called it one of the best projects they'd ever worked on.
The film's first teaser trailer generated 197 million views globally within 24 hours of its release, breaking the record that was set by The Fate of the Furious (2017) at 139 million views.
(at around 6 mins) Pennywise's eyes turn blue when he talks to Georgie because it is the color of his mother's eyes.
Bangor, Maine is the only US location used in the film (which is set in the fictional town of Derry). All other location shooting was done in Canada.
Composer Benjamin Wallfisch had incorporated children singing the nursery rhyme, "Oranges and Lemons" into the score. Director Andy Muschietti came up with the idea of using the old English nursery rhyme. Wallfisch explains, "[Muschietti's] approach, I think, was to try to find a sound for Pennywise that is somehow the sound of him thinking, the sound of him contemplating the idea of attack - or actually attacking." He further explains, "What was fascinating about using something as seemingly innocent and innocuous as a children's play song is that incredible dichotomy between what's on the surface and what is under the surface." The "Oranges and Lemons" rhyme would usually play when Pennywise is luring his victims.
John Oliver was such a fan of the novel that he was cast as an extra in this film. Oliver can be seen in the town's diner.
Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise) was born in 1990, the same year that the original It (1990) was released.
Producer Barbara Muschietti confirmed that Jessica Chastain was being considered for the role of adult Beverly. Actress Sophia Lillis also revealed that Chastain was her first choice for the role. In February 2018, Chastain was officially confirmed for the role.
(at around 46 mins) When The Losers Club first enter Ben's room you can hear Richie talking about someone's house having a roller coaster, a chimp, and some old guys bones. It is safe to assume he's talking about Michael Jackson and Neverland Ranch.
This film is often mistaken as a remake due to being released 27 years after the It (1990) miniseries. The film is in fact a re-adaptation of the same story. This is actually the first official theatrical adaptation of the "It" novel.
While Bill Skarsgård declared himself a huge fan of Tim Curry in general and Curry's specific performance as Pennywise in the It (1990) miniseries, he also said that he did not try to incorporate any of Curry's work into his own portrayal of Pennywise because he felt that he could not "do Tim Curry anywhere near as well as Curry himself did". Also, he did not want his performance to echo Curry's performance and become a distraction.
Before release, the film was initially projected to earn around $50 million on its opening weekend. The number gradually grew as good word of mouth became evident. Ultimately, the film made more than double its initial tracking numbers in its opening weekend by making about $123 million.
(at around 21 mins) When Stanley is closing the book after struggling with his Bar-Mitzvah speech, the title is seen upside down. This could be a simple mistake, a hint that he is too troubled to practice, or he isn't interested in religion much to the implied disappointment of his father. The book is the Pentateuch (The Torah).
In order to prepare for his role as Henry Bowers, Nicholas Hamilton studied Jarred Blancard's performance of the character in It (1990).
After just eight days in release, it became the highest-grossing September release of all time and the highest-grossing horror movie of all time.
To coincide with the film, Warner Bros. had released a virtual reality tie-in game called "It: Escape from Pennywise". It takes the player to the Neibolt house where they have to choose any of the three doors presented to the player to force the player to face their fears. The game is available on Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream.
Due to the success of this film, the character of Pennywise became one of the most popular Halloween costumes in 2017.
In the dress rehearsal, the look of The Losers Club was slightly different(e.g. Beverly had slightly longer and straight hair, Eddie wore a hat, most of the kids' clothing was more explorer-type). The filmmakers ultimately decided to go with a simply average look for the group.
The eerie scene of Pennywise dancing spawned a series of hilarious viral memes of him dancing to any song, regardless of the variety of music genres.
(at around 1h 24 mins) The only time Pennywise is actually seen walking is during the scene where he's taunting and terrorizing Eddie in the refrigerator scene.
(at around 1h 22 mins) In the novel, Ben Hanscom invented "Beep beep, Richie" whenever they need him to shut up. This is not used by the Losers Club in the movie as they only tell him to shut up. "Beep beep, Richie" is used by Pennywise in the movie, as a way to taunt Richie.
The scenes where Pennywise' teeth are exposed as he attacks his victims were partially done by CGI. According to Arnaud Brisebois, "There are even a few shots with the kill mouth where Bill Skarsgård's face is entirely replaced," he states. "In some of the early frames, we kept his actual eyes just to create a small connection."
Bill Skarsgård went on to star in another Stephen King adaptation called Castle Rock (2018) which is an original Hulu TV series. Chosen Jacobs, Skarsgård's co-star from this film, would later join the show.
The year 2017 became the year the horror genre, for the first time ever, had reached $1 billion in ticket sales at the U.S. box office. Such films that made this milestone possible included this film, Get Out (2017), Split (2016), Annabelle: Creation (2017), Jigsaw (2017), It Comes at Night (2017), and Happy Death Day (2017).
After seeing the film for the first time, Stephen King, the author of the novel on which the film is based, had stated, "I wasn't prepared for how good it really was."
In Stephen King's novel, the Losers Club must face Pennywise first as children, then decades later as adults. This film only tells of their encounter with it as children. The sequel, which tells the story of the Losers Club as adults, was released September 6, 2019.
Warner Bros. started an Oscar campaign in November of 2017, a few months after the release and subsequent success of the film. The categories include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Sophia Lillis, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score. Concerning the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, it wasn't speculated if any of the seven main actors, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jaeden Martell, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, and Bill Skarsgård would be campaigned for those categories. Unfortunately, the film failed to receive a single nomination.
Before and when the film was released, most people who weren't familiar with Bill Skarsgård or his previous acting work were genuinely surprised when they saw what the actor really looks like without wearing the Pennywise makeup. This actually brought more public interest and newfound popularity for the actor.
(at around 56 mins) When he's in Georgie's room, Bill picks up a Lego turtle. This could be a reference to not only the turtle in the "It" novel, but also the turtle Maturin, featured in Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.
Sophia Lillis is not scared by horror movies and actually laughed the first time she saw Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise.
During early stages of production, Chloë Grace Moretz was strongly considered for the role of Beverly. However, due to the time the project spent in development hell, casting did not begin until Moretz was 19. She was deemed too old for the role, and Sophia Lillis was cast instead. Coincidentally, Moretz starred in another Stephen King adaptation, Carrie (2013), which is a remake of Carrie (1976).
The name Pennywise is said four times in the film, 3 of which are said by the clown himself during the opening scene.
Other actors who were rumored to play Pennywise included Johnny Depp, Tilda Swinton, Richard Armitage, Tom Hiddleston, Jackie Earle Haley, Jim Carrey, Kirk Acevedo, Willem Dafoe, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Weaving, Doug Jones and Channing Tatum.
Bill Skarsgård was the fourth actor offered the role of Pennywise. Tim Curry was offered the chance to reprise the role during early development, but turned it down. Ben Mendelsohn was also offered the role, and was interested, but turned it down when he could not agree with the studio on his salary. Will Poulter was then offered the role and accepted, but scheduling conflicts forced him to drop out after production delays pushed filming back a year. Skarsgård was then given the role. However, Skarsgård was not necessarily the fourth choice, as he did not audition until after Poulter left the project. Skarsgård was actually the only actor that Andy Muschietti himself offered the role to.
Due to Bill Skarsgård being able to move his eyes in different directions, it's noted that with each eye, Pennywise is looking at both the characters and into the camera as if he's also looking right at the audience.
The Paul Bunyan statue in Derry's square was based on the actual Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor, Maine.
Bill Skarsgård celebrated his 26th birthday shortly before he began filming his scenes. To celebrate, director Andy Muschietti posted a picture of himself wearing a Pennywise mask, giving Skarsgård the finger, on his Instagram account.
The movie posters in the background mark the passage of time throughout the summer of 1989. June (Batman (1989)), July (Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)), and August (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)).
Finn Wolfhard was the only member of Cary Joji Fukunaga's cast for the movie who ended up staying on the project when Andy Muschietti took over as director.
In an interview, Bill Skarsgård stated that it took 5 hours to apply the clown makeup. However, they were able to shorten it down to 2 hours once the makeup artists had done it a couple of times.
Bill has an amber streak in the front of his hair. There is a reference in the novel to Bill having hair like Beverly's.
(at around 1h 28 mins) Bev is compared to Molly Ringwald who starred in Pretty in Pink (1986). On her bedroom wall is a poster of the band The Psychedelic Furs, who sang the title track, Pretty in Pink.
Opening at 4,103 theaters in the United States, this film is the widest opening R-rated release in cinema history, surpassing previous record holder Logan (2017), which opened at 4,071 theaters.
Anthrax, whose song "Antisocial" was used during the rock throwing fight, has several songs based on works by Stephen King such as "Among the Living" which was based on his novel, "The Stand", "A Skeleton in the Closet" which was based on his story "Apt Pupil", and "Misery Loves Company" which was based on his novel, "Misery".
The opening scene with Georgie takes place in October of 1988. Donnie Darko (2001) also takes place in October of 1988. In an early scene in Donnie Darko (2001), Donnie's mother is seen reading the novel "It".
(at around 1h 11 mins) Actor Finn Wolfhard admits to having a fear of clowns despite starring in this movie. Richie is the only character in the movie to explicitly state a fear of clowns.
Concerning the shooting of this film, Chosen Jacobs has stated that it is his favorite summer of his 16 years on Earth.
Coincidentally, the two actors who portrayed Pennywise, Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård, each have green eyes. Though Skarsgård's natural green eyes are never shown in this film, in the It (1990) miniseries, there are some scenes where you can see Curry's natural green eyes. Most notably in the iconic scene where he's luring Georgie.
It (alongside Randall Flagg) is regarded as the most evil and popular of Stephen King's villains, and an immense icon in horror. In 2006, Wizard Magazine ranked It as the 15th Greatest Villain of All Time.
Contrary to the novel, in which the children's journey with Pennywise begins in 1958, the movie follows the Losers Club from around 1989 which is four years after the final encounter between the club and Pennywise in the novel.
Two days before the movie started filming, director Andy Muschietti posted a picture on his Instagram account of his office filled with balloons, a way of letting fans know that pre-production had ended for the film.
The trailer for this film enraged real-life professional clowns, who stated that the Pennywise character will encourage people to think of clowns as scary and murderous (though the filmmakers and actors have said, clearly, that Pennywise is not a clown at all, but a representation of "It"'s pure evil, who takes on the form out of a mix of sadism and childishness). Rallies to defend the good name in general of clowns in the U.S. were planned following the month this film was released in theaters.
Despite Nicholas Hamilton (Henry Bowers), Logan Thompson (Victor Criss) Jake Sim (Belch Huggins) and Owen Teague (Patrick Hockstetter) having to constantly bully their co stars on set, off set they all became the very best of friends.
Belch Huggins (Jake Sim) wears a shirt featuring the band Anthrax, with the phrase "Follow me or die" on the back. This is a lyric from Anthrax's song "Among the Living", which the band wrote about another Stephen King book, "The Stand".
Stephen King, prior to the films release, noted via Twitter, on Mar 7th, 2017: "Andy Muschietti's remake of IT (actually it's Part 1--The Losers' Club) succeeds beyond my expectations. Relax. Wait. And enjoy."
James Ransone auditioned for a role in this film before later being cast as the adult version of Eddie Kaspbrak in It Chapter Two (2019).
Marlon Taylor, Jarred Blancard, and Brandon Crane, who played the respective roles of Mike, Henry, and Ben in It (1990), all reached out to the new actors for this film (Chosen Jacobs for Taylor, Nicholas Hamilton for Blancard and Jeremy Ray Taylor for Crane) and spoke to them. They all went on to say they were very pleased with the casting and are excited to see the film.
(at around 42 mins) This marks the second time that a character played by Finn Wolfhard stands on the edge of a quarry and is about to jump down. The first time was in Stranger Things (2016), where his character was threatened by school-bullies to jump down.
Oldboy (2003) director Park Chan-Wook visited the giant sewer set, since his regular cinematographer, Chung-hoon Chung, was Director of Photography on this film.
Director Andy Muschietti states that the film doesn't have a lot of CGI, despite people's criticisms.
Guillermo del Toro was interested in doing an adaptation of the Stephen King novel but his intense workload prevented that.
When the Losers Club are at the 4th of July festival, a clown can be seen performing on a nearby stage. The clown's suit resembles serial killer John Wayne Gacy's clown suit.
The rock band, Anthrax, whose song, "Antisocial", was playing during the Rock War scene, were elated that their song was used for the film. They congratulated Stephen King and the film's crew on the film's success, and thanked them for the in-film shout out on Twitter.
(at around 1h 28 mins) Beverly's haircut and look is modelled after the 1980's style of Molly Ringwald, who Richie makes reference to while insulting Beverly.
In an interview with GQ, Cary Joji Fukunaga, concerning the reason why he left this film, indicated that he and New Line Cinema didn't see eye to eye due to some of his ideas for the film being too extreme. He states, "Ultimately, we and New Line have to agree on the kind of movie we want to make, and we just wanted to make different movies. It's like a relationship: you can try to make the other person who you want them to be, but it's impossible really to change. You just have to work."
About two years after the huge success of this film, in July 2019, producer Larry Sanitsky, who produced the It (1990) miniseries, sued Warner Bros. for breach of contract over the prevention of involvement of the feature film adaptations of the "It" novel. Sanitsky and Frank Konigsberg bought the rights to the novel back in the late 80s before the miniseries was filmed. The lawsuit claimed that Sanitsky and Konigsberg subsequently signed a deal with Warner Bros. in ensuring that the pair would be involved in any remakes, sequels, or spin-offs, and the pair are owed $1 million in profit participation on the miniseries. The suit is pending.
Director Andy Muschietti shared on his Instagram account a sketch of an early design of Pennywise he made in 2015. The sketch shows Pennywise with slightly less hair and sans his now-iconic red makeup facial lines that start from the corners of his mouth and end over his eyebrows.
(at around 44 mins) When the boys watch Beverly sunbathe, the 1989 hit, "Bust a Move" by Marvin Young or better known as Young M.C. is playing on the radio. The song is advice to a young man about how to approach a woman while keeping your cool... which, since first meeting Beverly, is what Ben had trouble doing.
Director Andy Muschietti went on to helm the Hulu TV series adaptation of Locke & Key (2020), which is based off of the novel by author Joe Hill, who is the son of renowned author and writer of the "It" novel, Stephen King. Besides Muschetti, three actors from this film has joined the show's production which include Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie), Owen Teague (Patrick Hockstetter), and Megan Charpentier (Gretta).
New Kids on the Block is referenced several times throughout the film. Two members of the Losers Club, Ben Hanscom and Beverly Marsh, are fans of the group. In real life, NKOTB started out in 1984 when the members were young children and broke up in 1994. After over 14 years of being disbanded, the group reunited in 2008 and remained together. Similarly, in the book, this happens with The Losers Club, who reunite as adults almost 28 years after the group started.
Cary Joji Fukunaga was set to direct, but dropped out after years of pre-production due to a difference in artistic vision and, in consequence, what the intended MPAA rating was intended to be (with Fukunaga wanting the film to be NC-17 and the studio not willing to go past an R rating). The studio wanted to aim at a more commercially viable film, while Fukunaga wanted something closer to The Shining (1980) in tone and style. Andy Muschietti took over as director and filming began in the summer of 2016.
This film takes place October 1988-summer 1989 but covers the parts of the novel originally set in '57 and '58. The adult segments of the novel (the source material for It Chapter Two (2019)) take place in 1985. Therefore, this movie version of the story takes place 4 years after the ending of the original novel.
(at around 1h 15 mins) When The Losers Club catch up with Bill at the Neibolt House, if you really look, notice Richie has a speck of water on his shirt, and his face is a bit red, this is not there in the scene at Bill's house before. The reason for this is seen in the Losers Club behind the scenes featurette on the DVD. During what looks like a break between scenes, Finn Wolfhard and Jack Dylan Grazer were hanging out, and Finn took a drink of water, and Jack said something that made Finn start laughing while drinking, you don't see the water go on his shirt on the featurette though.
Seth Green, who portrayed young Richie Tozier in the It (1990) miniseries, attended the premiere of this film.
Director Andy Muschietti wore a pin of a paper boat on his suit jacket at the film's premiere.
The film became the most profitable horror film of 2017, beating out Annabelle: Creation (2017) and another surprise horror hit, Get Out (2017).
The town of Derry, Maine was set in Port Hope, Canada which, as of April 2017, was the location of Turtle John's restaurant. The Turtle features heavily within the novel "It" and "The Dark Tower" series, also written by Stephen King.
Nicholas Hamilton, who portrays Henry Bowers in this film, has portrayed a minor character named Lucas Hanson in another Stephen King adaptation, The Dark Tower (2017).
Bill Skarsgård's brother, Alexander Skarsgård, is friends with James Ransone, who went on to portray adult Eddie in It Chapter Two (2019). James had known Bill since he was a teenager.
This movie released in the same week as American Horror Story: Cult aired. This season focuses on a cult of clowns or cult honoring Twisty the Clown a serial killer from Freakshow.
Filming began on June 27, 2016, and officially wrapped on September 20, 2016, one day before author Stephen King turned 69 years old.
Stephen King wrote the "It" novel and several other books about writer's block. Among the other King novels that are about writer's block are "Salem's Lot", "The Shining", and "Misery".
Film critic and Variety correspondent Owen Gleiberman cites that the film's success is due to being "the world's most deluxe Freddy Krueger film", in describing the film as "A Nightmare on Elm Street 8 with Stephen King benefits". The critic expresses that Pennywise uses theatrics and twisted mischief while he terrorizes his victims similar to Freddy Krueger.
Both actors cast as Pennywise were significantly younger and taller than Tim Curry was when he played the role in It (1990). Curry was 44 and 5'9, Will Poulter was 22 and 6'2 when he was cast, and Bill Skarsgård was 25 and 6'4.
This film marks the second time a European actor portraying Pennywise. Tim Curry, who is British, portrayed the character in the 90s miniseries and Bill Skarsgård, who is Swedish, portrayed the character in this film. Will Poulter, the original choice for Pennywise, was also British.
A number of clowns were spotted in various American states including Florida, New York, Wisconsin and Kentucky, and subsequently in other Western countries, from August 2016 onward. By October 2016, in the wake of hundreds of "clown sightings" across the United States and Canada, the phenomenon had spread from North America to Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
With this film, Bill Skarsgård and Chosen Jacobs are among two of the actors from any Stephen King related films to star in Castle Rock (2018), a show based off of King's novel. The other actor that stars in the show is Sissy Spacek. Spacek starred in Carrie (1976), another well-known King novel.
Director Andy Muschietti shared pictures of every day of the filming of this movie on his Instagram account.
Chosen Jacobs recorded a song related to the film, that's not on the film's soundtrack, called, "Losers".
Due to the town being called "Derry", a name similar to the city in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland, the country had its own premiere of the film there. Before the movie began, there was special video from the child actors greeting the Derry audience.
The film is one of the highest grossing R rated films of all time with over $700 million worldwide.
After Cary Joji Fukunaga dropped out, Andy Muschietti pitched a movie that would use most of the Fukunaga/Palmer script, but with more famous scenes from the book added. While Muschietti did most of the rewrite himself, the final version was touched up a little by Gary Dauberman to get the movie back on the original budget.
(at around 1h 15 mins) As the losers club approaches Pennywise's front porch to fight him, the yard's open iron front gate can be seen from the back. It holds the number "29", which mirrored resemble the letters "e" and "s" - "es" is the German word for "it".
This is the second of three films released in 2017 that's based on the literary works of Stephen King. The first film is The Dark Tower (2017) and the third film is Netflix's Gerald's Game (2017).
Some filming took place in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. This was also a filming location for another Stephen King film, the miniseries Storm of the Century (1999).
The Losers Club shirts pay homage to various Stephen King stories, including "The Shining", "Carrie", "Christine", and "Pet Semetary".
(at around 38 mins) When Beverly puts on the pharmacist's glasses, he tells her, "You look like a young Lois Lane." Amy Adams plays Lois Lane in the DCEU and plays a newspaper journalist in the Sharp Objects (2018) miniseries, in which Sophia Lillis (Beverly) plays a young version of Adams' character.
(at around 1h 6 mins) The song during the "Rock Fight" is Anthrax's version of "Antisocial", a song originally recorded by French band, The Trust.
In the first few weeks of filming, Wyatt Oleff purchased the novel to get more into his character of Stan Uris.
Pennywise's house in the new adaptation of "It" was set up and filmed in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ty Simpkins was slated to play "Willy Denbrough" while Cary Joji Fukunaga was still directing. He was replaced by Jaeden Martell when Andy Muschietti took over and the character name was changed back to the original "Bill Denbrough".
(at around 1h 45 mins) Unlike the 1990 miniseries, this adaptation, in the scene before the climax, shows the Bob Gray Pennywise dance which earned the performer's name of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
Bill Skarsgård's father, Stellan Skarsgård, appeared with the original actor of Pennywise, Tim Curry, in The Hunt for Red October (1990).
Cary Joji Fukunaga's script changed the names of several main characters: Bill Denbrough to Willy Denbrough, Henry Bowers to Travis Bowers, 'Belch' Huggins to 'Snatch' Huggins, Patrick Hockstetter to Patrick Hockstettler, Will Hanlon to Leroy Hanlon and Greta Bowie to Gretta Bowie. Though most have been changed back by Andy Muschietti, the changes to 'Leroy' and 'Gretta' remain.
Despite being marketed and presented as a horror film, it's been debated that this film is more of a cross-genre type of film than a strict horror film. This is due to the numerous scenes of comedy mixed with the pivotal scenes of drama, alongside the scares, within the film. Some people would even argue that the film is not that scary despite still being entertaining.
(at around 1h 35 mins) To coincide with the 1989 primary setting, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is featured on the movie marquee. Director Andy Muschietti also revealed in an interview that a Freddy Krueger form was considered as a fear for one of the Losers Club members and one Pennywise would assume. However, it was ultimately scrapped out of not feeling right and wanting stick to the trauma and childhood fears without straying too meta.
The third largest debut of 2017 behind Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), premiering higher than Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
Stephen King based parts of the fictional town of Derry on real locations in Maine. The Derry standpipe, which plays an important part in the novel, is based on the Thomas Hill Standpipe in Bangor. While not being an integral part of the movie, the postcard Ben writes to Beverly features the actual Thomas Hill Standpipe. There is also a shot in the movie of Bill in front of the real Thomas Hill Standpipe.
Wyatt Oleff (Stanley Uris), Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon), Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise), Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak) and director Andy Muschietti all celebrated birthdays on set.
(at around 12 mins) When Beverly is sitting in the school's bathroom, being bullied by other students, "Hate Clown" is shown to be written on the bathroom stall, in black. Beverly is holding a black marker, suggesting she might have written it. If you look at production stills closely, you can see that what Beverly wrote was 'Gretta Keene is a bitch' twice. This enforces the idea that she has been continually tormented and taunted by Gretta and her friends.
Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgård, and Jack Dylan Grazer each starred in comic book films. Respectively, Oleff starred in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Skarsgard starred in Deadpool 2 (2018), and Grazer starred in Shazam! (2019).
The second highest R Rated opening behind Deadpool (2016), and grossing higher than The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and American Sniper (2014).
In the aerial view of Derry town center (Port Hope, Ontario, Canada), the red brick building on the left, that is revealed behind trees, has a CG replacement of its central area by a weathered "DERRY" signage of some sort. In real life there is no "DERRY" signage, but a blank red brick area with four windows which are not seen on the movie building.
Mike Flanagan was desperate to get into talks with the studio for the directing position when Cary Joji Fukunaga dropped out.
Ben Hanscom and Beverly Marsh are shown bonding over a shared passion for New Kids on the Block. One of the band members, Donnie Wahlberg, starred in Dreamcatcher (2003), another Stephen King adaptation set in Derry, Maine.
Film debut of Jackson Robert Scott. His only acting credit before this film was on TV, a one episode character on Criminal Minds (2005).
The novel "It" was originally published in September 1986. This film was released in September 2017. September is also the birth month of Stephen King, the author of the novel.
The film starts in 1988 and ends about a year later in 1989. The film references A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) which came out in 1989. Its predecessor, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), came out in 1988.
It's total opening weekend comprised of $179,000,000 with the additional $62,000,00 earned overseas against a budget of $35,000,000.
Judith the Flute Lady was originally going to be cut from the film due to her being deemed "not scary". VFX supervisor Arnaud Brisebois states, "Andy [Muschietti] fought for it because it was a bizarre character. It wasn't really scary - it was more about discomfort. We would keep sculpting the character and iterating on very minute details of her facial features right until the end."
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is one of the main films referenced in this film. Before the script for Nightmare 5 was written and shot, Stephen King, who wrote the "It" novel on which this film and the 90s miniseries was based was approached by New Line to write the screenplay but declined. The task was then offered to Frank Miller who also declined.
(at around 1h 35 mins) Richie plays the Street Fighter (1987) arcade game. In 2017, the same year the movie was released, Street Fighter celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The largest September opening weekend ever, eclipsing the previous holder, Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015).
The song, "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" by New Kids on the Block, which is referenced twice in the movie, was released as a single in the US in November 1988. The movie starts in October 1988 and then jumps to the summer of 1989.
Sophia Lillis had studied Andy Muschietti's work in acting school before taking on her role in this film.
A month after the film's release and on Halloween 2017, NBA player LeBron James dressed up as Bill Skarsgård's version of Pennywise. The picture of James dressed up as the character went viral and many people noted how creepy he looked, especially given his height. James is 4 inches taller than Skarsgård, standing at 6'8, and Skarsgård stands at 6'4.
Wyatt Oleff and Jeremy Ray Taylor worked together previously on The History of Us (2015).
When asked why the film resonated with audiences in an interview with GQ Magazine, director Andy Muschietti states, "There's something about how ingrained in our collective memory this story is. All these years...it's been dormant, in a way. Sleeping. And now it's come out with a lot of force. This is a story that resonates a lot with the situation that society is living in right now." Muschietti goes on to state, "It talks to us about what it is to live in a culture of fear, you know? Where fear is used as a tool to divide and control and subdue. For people who didn't know this story - and who went to the movie to see a horror movie - they went and found something else."
Five different visual effects companies provided the visual effects for this film. They are Rodeo FX, Cubica VFX, Atomic Arts, Soho VFX, and Savage VFX.
The film is the second Stephen King film adaptation released in 2017. The first film is The Dark Tower (2017). The two films that follow this film are Gerald's Game (2017) and 1922 (2017), respectively.
The cinema marquee shows that Batman (1989) is playing. That film starred Jack Nicholson, who appeared in The Shining (1980). One of the posters is for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989). The previous film in that series, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), was co-written by Frank Darabont, who went on to direct The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and The Green Mile (1999).
This is Jackson Robert Scott's first horror film. The second film is The Prodigy (2019).
The film's runtime is about 2 hours and 14 minutes. Interestingly, the sequel, It Chapter Two (2019), is 2 hours and 49 minutes long, which is 35 minutes longer than this film.
A spoof of the story titled, "IT Happens" is the first segment in The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror #23, the twenty-third and final issue of the Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, a horror-comedy anthology comic book series inspired by the eponymous yearly episodes on the show. The episode was released on September 20th, 2017, a few weeks after the film's release.
The extreme things that the character of Patrick Hockstetter does in the novel are seriously nullified in the movie, but, there is one little Easter egg within his role that isn't in the book. The name Patrick Hockstetter has been used twice by Stephen King. Once in "IT" (1986) and the other in "Firestarter" (1980). There is absolutely no relation between each character, but, in "IT: Chapter One" Patrick uses a lighter and a can of deodorant to light flames in the sewers so he can see in the darkness (like a firestarter).