As if it wasn't quite obvious, the creators of STRANGER THINGS the Duffer Brothers are big fans of Stephen King. Duh. Their Netflix series positively oozes vintage King and Spielberg in every frame.
That said, I was a little upset by STRANGER THINGS at first because I was Like, "Well, sh*t, there is what the adaptation of IT should have been." Tone-wise, I mean.
I always thought the IT adaptation should strike a balance between Stephen and Steven: King and Spielberg. Hell, there is even a Spielberg shout-out specifically in IT, where that hippy-stoner during the ending storm yells out "STEVEN SPIELBERG EAT YOUR HEART OUT!"
Anyhow, it turns out The Duffer Brothers ARE huge IT fans. Go figure. In an (admittedly, kinda old...) interview they talk about the book, and the mini-series. And their thoughts are mostly priceless. Check them out below.
When asked which Stephen King book was most formative for them, they answered:
Ross: It's probably It for both of us. It's the big one, and It is obviously a huge inspiration for the show. That's probably the biggest, I think just because we're the age of those characters when we're reading it, so it's not that his other books aren't amazing, they were.
Matt: That made probably the biggest impact on us.
When asked if they would have liked to have had a shot at an IT adaptation, the replied:
Matt: We asked, and that's why we ended up doing this, because we'd asked Warner Brothers. I was like, "Please," and they were like, "No." This was before Cary Fukunaga. This was a long time ago.
Ross: When we asked to do it was before, then he got on it afterwards because he's established. So, he got on it and we were excited just because we're huge fans of what he does, and one of the few people who hasn't made a bad movie. So, that was exciting to us, but also, we were seeing trailers for True Detective, we're like, "I kind of want to see. How do you do It in two hours? Even if you're separating the kids, how do you do that right?" You don't really fall in love with them the same way you're going to when I read that book. So, how much more excited would I be if Cary Fukunaga was doing that for HBO or he was doing that for Netflix? There were a lot of different discussions we were having around this time, and a lot of it centered around how exciting TV was becoming and how cinematic it was. Certainly one of those discussions brought us back to It and how we wish it was an eight- or ten-hour miniseries.
Matt: It's like, "Could you be truer to the sensibilities of It if you had eight or ten hours?" We thought that you probably could more than if you were confined to two hours. At least that's how we made ourselves feel better about not getting the movie adaptation. We still would have done it, obviously. I'm really excited about that movie. I think it will be cool.
Then they shared their thoughts on the 1990 mini-series:
Matt: That messed us up, that miniseries.
Ross: Tim Curry is just horrifying in that movie. The first half of that miniseries is great. The second half, when you get into the giant spider, is awful.
Matt: Is really bad. Even as a kid that didn't scare me. It's actually ripe for remake.
And here is my favorite part of the interview. God bless this reporter. He actually brings up, and I'm quoting here, the "gangbang" from the book. Haha.
Matt: Oh my God.
Ross: You can't do that, no.
Matt: No, you can't do the gangbang. I mean, there's something that is so nerve-wracking, though. It would make me nervous. I like that it's our own original story that's inspired by this stuff, but if we screw it up we're not screwing up anybody else's work. You know what I mean? It's all our material. I would feel really nervous doing something, especially something like one of Stephen King's classic books that meant a lot to me, because there would be nothing worse than screwing that up.
You can read the rest of the Duffer Brothers interview right HERE. I suggest giving it a read as they go into such interesting topics such as what it's like co-directing, the title font.
At least I find those to be interesting topics...