Adapting Stephen King’s IT: 2017’s IT: Chapter One Is A Brilliant Nightmare

The making and release of Tommy Lee Wallace’s IT miniseries from 1990 was a landmark moment in the history of Stephen King adaptations. Not only did it pull off the impossible by bringing to life an epic book thought of as being unadaptable, but it opened King’s eyes to the possibilities that existed on the small screen for his work – which in turn resulted in the development of 1994’s The Stand miniseries, 1997’s The Shining miniseries, and more. The small screen nightmare left an indelible mark, and the face of Tim Curry’s Pennywise The Dancing Clown haunted audiences for years.

Despite this immense success, the dream of bringing IT to the big screen didn’t wholly dissipate, and the effort became renewed in 2009 when Warner Bros. purchased the rights to Stephen King’s book. Initially Dave Kajganich was hired by the studio to pen the screenplay, but that version stayed locked in the development stages for years. It wasn’t until 2012 and the hiring of writer/director Cary Fukunaga that things started moving forward in earnest, as it was then that a key, game-changing idea was introduced for the adaptation: instead of making IT as one movie, it would become two.


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