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It director Andy Muschietti almost used 1980s horror icons in the film

09.12.2017

In Stephen King's IT, Pennywise the Clown assumes several nightmarish identities in an effort to feed off the fear of the children of Derry, Maine. In a recent interview with Ain't It Cool's Eric Vespe, IT director Andy Muschietti revealed that, at one point in time, he considered using famous '80s horror icons as a part of the villain's arsenal of emotionally crippling personas.

In the book, Stephen King's Pennywise takes on many forms, including a few famous ones like the shark from JAWS, Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula. In Muschietti's new film, the dancing clown from some otherworldly hellscape transforms into the guise of such abominations like a diseased leaper to a distorted woman who's escaped from a creepy painting brought to life. Each horrific visage is meant to paralyze its victim with fear, with the emotion acting as an appetizer for when Pennywise finally takes a full-on, jagged-toothed bite.

With all of this in mind, one has to wonder if the inclination to use 1980s horror icons as a part of Pennywise's weapons of the mind was ever in consideration. While speaking with Ain't It Cool, Muschietti confirmed that he had considered it by saying, "Obviously we considered that for a bit, but I wasn’t too interested in bringing Freddy Krueger into the mix. I love the story and I love how Stephen King basically makes a portrait of childhood in the ’50s. He’s very genuine when he brings all the Universal Monsters to the repertoire of incarnation because that’s what kids were afraid of. It would be a natural path to try to recreate that in the ’80s, but I really wasn’t too crazy about bringing stuff like Freddy Krueger into the story. I thought it was a bit too meta with New Line involved in the film. It’s distracting and it didn’t feel right, for some reason."

Muschietti  then went on to say that he preferred to have Pennywise torment his victims by way of their own personal psychological fears, with each manifestation being tailored for each individual child. "I wanted to bring fears that were a little more layered and related to childhood trauma and more surprising in general. I think that Stephen King was open to that. When he saw the film I basically wrote a letter to him asking him for forgiveness for having taken so many licenses, especially with the many different incarnations of Pennywise. He said “Don’t worry about it. All the changes are great!”

Personally, as much as I'd love to see a character like Freddy Krueger back on the big screen (and in proper form, thank you very much), I think Muschietti made a wise decision leaving the nightmare slasher (and others like him) out of the picture. For me, I feel like it would have been too distracting for someone like Krueger, Pinhead, or Norman Bates to make a cameo appearance. While others might disagree, and see this situation as something of a missed opportunity, I'm not entirely sure that the Losers' Club kids would have been afraid of such villains. I mean, after going face-to-painted face with Pennywise, and knowing how his powers of influence work, would Krueger really be the thing that stands between the iron-willed "Losers" and victory? I think not.

Just for fun, what horror icons would you have liked to see appear in the new IT film? Let us know who you'd choose in the comments section below!

Stephen King's IT is floating in theaters right now.

Extra Tidbit: I think a Cujo cameo could have worked. The diseased mutt could have given chase while the group was inside the sewers, or something like that. I don't know, I still subscribe to the idea that using 1980s horror icons would have been a bit too meta for this particular film.
Source: Ain't It Cool

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