IT Set Visit: Everything You Need to Know About the New Film!

You may have just learned that Tilda Swinton was considered for the role of Pennywise - and maybe didn't get it only because of scheduling conflicts - but there's more good stuff to glean from our visit to the Toronto set of IT (which was in September of 2016). Below you'll find some cool quotes and factoids about the new adaptation, which comes from MAMA director Andres Muschietti and his sister-producing partner Barbara.

Pennywise's lair is awesome.

The main set shown to press during our set visit was Pennywise's lair, which is deep within the Derry sewer system. Bill and the rest of the Losers Club was in search of Bev (Sophia Lillis), who had been kidnapped by Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). The set was massive and the centerpiece was a gigantic pile of clothes and toys, under which Pennywise slept. When you see this thing in the film, some of the top section will be CGI (it stretches far, far upward), but the main base of it was largely practical, and super impressive. Up close, you could see the details of every piece of child's clothing and toy. (Yes, pretty disturbing as well as impressive.) Nearby was a system of sewer tunnels, rotted, corroded, moist, with little bits of clothing scattered about. Clearly where Pennywise drags his prey to get to the main heart of his home.

The Muschiettis had not met with Stephen King at the time of filming.

Andy: I’m very happy making an adaptation, my interpretation of the story, and I would be thrilled to meet Stephen King, but there comes a time in the process where you start feeling good with your interpretation of it, and your contribution to the story, and it doesn’t feel like I want to discuss my ideas with him, you know? I don’t know. It feels like something that I would be embarrassed to tell him, you know? “Your words and your moments don’t work,” right?"

Barbara: Andy and I went to Bangor for a couple weeks to just hang and really get a taste of Derry. It's fantastic, because everybody in Bangor has a King story and it's very satisfying. The thing we tried to capture the most was the characters, and there is not a character writer like King. That is why we are all so drawn to his books. You fall in love with the earthliness of this little town heroes. In the writing casting and directing of these kids you'll find that King's style is all over the place. I'm hoping he'll feel respected and honored."

A Stephen King cameo is not out of the question... for Part 2.

Though he didn't take a meeting with the creative team during production, Stephen King has since tweeted his support of the film (and even sent out a positive video message during SDCC), so he's clearly on board with the Muschiettis' adaptation. And while he is most definitely not in Part 1, Barbara said, "you never know, I'd love to!" in response to a possible Part 2 appearance from the author.

The Muschiettis always had it in mind to just do the kids section of the film first:

"We’re not doing for a simple reason, that we didn’t think it was necessary to intertwine them," said Barbara. "The book is our bible, for sure, but we thought it would be more interesting to respect the proper chronology, and also, it’s such a massive book. This, I have to say, we inherited it and we could have changed it but we decided not to, to stick to the kids, because I think it gives you a bigger change of really understand the characters in the first part of the movie, rather than spending half of the movie 27 years late... If ever there was a book that was perfect to be divided, it was IT."

This was a dream project for the Muschiettis.

Barbara: "I don't think it was a lot of pressure tackling this because we now the material so well. It was a dream project. We actually never even dreamed… it's beyond a dream project. So in that sense I don't think there was that much pressure. The pressure came from those three years we didn't film anything because we didn't find the right project. I'm incredibly glad we waited because now we have this! When we did "Mama" it wasn't even in my thoughts. That's one of the problems as filmmakers: Now we're part of a community and that's what you spend so much time on. Unless you don't give a shit, then you just shoot whatever falls on your plate. That happens, and that's very valid, but we have to have a very particular connection with the material because you die while you're shooting. It's a war. You have to do it for something you love."

IT will be a more "grounded" vision of the 80s compared to the works of Spielberg or Stranger Things.

Barbara: "I would say our 80's is more grounded. There's tiny elements in common, but you won't see the dreamlike Spielberg, Dante, the "Super 8." It's grounded 80's, and this will sound a little naïve but we are not American, we are Argentinian. Our 80's are a little more toned down, not as exacerbated. We don't have great memories of the 80's in the U.S. because we were not here! Again, I think we worked a lot in giving it realism and being grounded."

The film was always going to be rated R.

Andy: "It’s great that it’s R, you know, because it’s in the essence and the spirit of the original work, so it was good news that the studio wanted to make an R movie. Which is infrequent. So it’s rare... The project was always, from the early development, it was R rated."

The young cast had a lot of time to bond and become an actual group during production.

Barbara Muschietti: "Part of it rehearsal, but it was mostly trust exercises. We did about three weeks of that. Also, these kids — I don’t know what this generation of kids is called, but they are indoors a lot with video games a lot, with TV and computers and we wanted them out with bicycles and swimming in quarries and just doing kid things from the 80s so we gave them training in that because some of them were not particularly great at bicycle riding. We did a lot of this here. We brought them about three weeks early, and you can see. And they are together all the time. All the time. And their parents have been great about really allowing and promoting this, and they’re fantastic. Actually, about a week ago we had a scene and they’re all very upset and they’re crying, and we couldn’t stop them. We couldn’t stop them from the emotions, because they can feel this coming to an end and they’re terrified. Because this film has changed their lives. they’re also all between 12 and 13, and they know what’s next is very different. As in terms of them, not in the consequences of this film, they’re growing up and they can feel this is the last remnants of childhood."

Stephen King's most controversial passage from the book is not in the movie.

SPOILERS: At the end of the Losers Club section of the book - when the group is still young - there's a very startling scene that anyone who has read it won't ever forget: Each male member of the Losers Club has sex with Beverly Marsh, in a row. It's a very perverse rite of passage, considering these are just kids, and even though the book overall is totally effective and enjoyable, this chapter is quite disturbing.

Needless to say it won't be in the movie. The following comment contains SPOILERS:

Andy Muschietti: "The group sex episode in the book is a bit of a metaphor of the end of childhood and into adulthood. And I don’t think it was really needed in the movie, apart that it was very hard to allow us to shoot an orgy in the movie so, I didn’t think it was necessary because the story itself is a bit of a journey, and it illustrates that... The blood oath scene is there and it’s the last time they see each other as a group. It’s unspoken. And they don’t know it, but it’s a bit of a foreboding that this is the last time, and being together was a bit of a necessity to beat the monster. Now that the monster recedes, they don’t need to be together. And also because their childhood is ending, and their adulthood is starting. And that’s the bittersweet moment of that sequence.

Later, Muschietti commented again on King's tendencies to go a little over the line.

"...sometimes I think that he’s— he goes— there’s some extremes that I’m not crazy about. When he gets too scatalogical, it throws me off. Scenes like the orgy, the end, I never felt like the story needed it. But I don’t know what to say."

You'll see how it all ends on September 8th.

Come at me, Pennywise...
Extra Tidbit: How high is IT on your to-see list?
Source: JoBlo.com

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