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Andy Muschietti Talks Holding Nothing Back for “R”-rated ‘IT’

The 1990 mini-series wasn’t allowed to go to the darkest places.

But don’t worry, this year’s adaptation will.

Speaking with French magazine Mad Movies as part of an exclusive feature in the most recent issue, just released this week, IT director Andy Muschietti (Mama) promised that he held nothing back when it came to bringing Stephen King’s nightmarish story back to the screen. The article reveals that the incestuous relationship between Beverly and her father will be included in the movie, as will many of the novel’s darkest elements.

This is an R rated movie. I’m very happy about that, because it allows us to go into very adult themes,” said Muschietti. “Each ‘loser’ knows a situation of despair, on top of the terror of It and the fear of heights. Beverly’s case is of course the worst, because it’s about sexual abuse on a minor. But each kid is neglected one way or the other. Bill is like a ghost in his own home: nobody sees him because his parents can’t get over Georgie’s death. Of course, Ben is bullied at school. We don’t know much about Richie’s personality, because he’s the big mouth of the group. But we suppose he’s also neglected at home, and he’s the clown of the band because he needs attention. Long story short, there’s all sorts of difficult situations, and we had the chance to tell them in a movie that faces directly those conflicts. In particular, the families of the young actors were very open-minded, so we could tell the about subjects that are normally very touchy.”

He continued, “From our very first discussion with the people from New Line, it was understood that the movie was gonna be rated R. Of course it was already crazy that they started a story revolving around the death of children. But if you aimed for a PG-13 movie, you had nothing at the end. So we were very lucky that the producers didn’t try to stop us. In fact it’s more our own moral compass that sometimes showed us that some things lead us in places where we didn’t want to go.”

Sister Barbara Muschietti, producer of IT, added, “To tell everything, you won’t find the scene where a kid has his back broken and is thrown in the toilets. We thought that the visual translation of that scene had something that was really too much. But for the rest, we removed nothing from our original vision, and we didn’t water down the violence of any event. We believe the fans will be thankful to us for keeping that aspect of the novel in the movie. Well, for now, none of the people who saw the screenings left the theater! I got to say we escape a lot of objections thanks to the context of the story, since it’s the kids’ fear that feed the monster.”

Big thanks to Auguste Pagliaccio from FB group The Losers’ Club for the translation.

In IT, directed by Andy Muschietti…

A group of young kids face their biggest fears when they seek answers to the disappearance of children in their hometown of Derry, Maine. They square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

The kids in peril, the Losers’ Club, include Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor. Javier Botet will play The Leper, and Nicholas Hamilton plays Henry Bowers. The cast also includes Owen Teague, who plays bully Patrick Hocksetter. Bill Skarsgard is our new Pennywise.

The film will be in theaters September 8, 2017.




  • pablitonizer

    So Andy confirms Georgie dies as in the book?

    • Lushen72

      I am wondering the same thing. George’s death was so pivotal to Bill’s character in the book. It was his obsession for revenge.

      • pablitonizer

        Absolutely! It’s like rebooting the exorcist (God forbid) with a girl fighting a demon trying to possess her instead of being already possessed…what’s he mother’s motivations??

        • Frank Bautista

          It is basically changing a “point” that is vital within the story itself. I Am Legend abandoned the novel’s “point” of what the phrase “I Am Legend” means. It was never because Will Smith found a cure, it was because the monsters became the new “normal society” after humans went extinct and Neville (who’d hunt and kill them) became THEIR legendary boogeyman (the “legend” they’d tell stories and warn their young ones of).

          You could adapt or remake/reboot a movie all you want, but I think it should still keep the “vital point” of the original material in tact.

          • Sascha

            Bless you, Frank! BLESS YOU!!! Finally, someone who understood the whole point of I Am Legend! Thank you thank you thank you. My thank yous thank you. Change what you will, but the minute you lose the soul or the spirit of the story is the minute it’s destroyed utterly. I still have not seen Will Smith’s version because of the changes.

  • Darkknight2149

    Except the controversial scenes from the novel that are deemed to extreme. But, in terms of violence, I guess it’s not holding back.

  • Necro

    This is very good to hear IMO. I know there’s other things to consider here, but for me them knowing what they wanted to bring and to have free reign from producers is cool. Also the parents being “open-minded” is good to know and them understanding that their kids weren’t acting in ‘The Sandlot pt.6’. Now how well all this translates to the film is going to be interesting to see. I really hope it delivers. Being a Horror enthusiast and over the years whenever this movie came up in discussion I usually had to explain that the mini series wasn’t shit compared to the novel itself. Most of the people I talked to never read ‘IT’ and just go by the mini series. And I also said maybe down the line we’ll eventually get a more in depth hardcore film. Here we are! Come on September I’m ready!

    • Chip

      I can already tell they aged up Bowers and company to make it a little easier to kill those characters off, or having them commit horrible acts. Especially Patrick. Otherwise those are the tallest 12 year olds I have ever seen.

      • Necro

        HaHa! Yeah they are

  • Buddy Repperton

    How much you want to bet they are making Eddie gay.

    • Georgie’s Arm

      Fukunaga wrote Richie as being gay, so that’s the most likely character if they kept that aspect of the script

      • Chip

        Which is a really weird thought. Eddie has so much inner dialogue about his feelings for Bill that its kinda hard to not think of him as gay.

      • Andres Ganini

        I hope Richie won’t be gay, though.

    • Shawn O’Dell

      The book covered a lot more about Eddie’s feelings for Bill than the mini movie series did. Also, this movie seems to cover only the childhood part, based on the trailer, which means there’s a lot left to be done and explored if there’s an adult period version coming. Eddie’s feelings towards Bill might sound that way, but also remember that the book and movie were made over 25 years ago when the zeitgeist of homosexuality was very much different. There wasn’t really any follow up on Eddie’s personal life as an adult outside of living with his controlling mother, so there really isn’t anything to suggest he’s gay other than some, most likely, “confused” feelings as a pre-pubescent child that were worded purposely to portray a young boy describing how he feels towards his best friend. The only homosexual reference that I can remember is the part in the book involving a hand job during a childhood part that involved Henry Bowers and one of his friends, I’m not 100% but it’s pretty close.

      I really hope they don’t add anything that wasn’t in the book to change the storyline, or characters in a major way just to be PC and appeal to the lesbian, gay, and 100+ “genders” that are out there now. Amp up the scary and whatever else you need, just don’t screw with the characters or their backstories.

  • Trey Black

    I’m only halfway through the book, but I don’t remember any blatant incest between Bev and her father besides what Pennywise says when she returns home

    • Georgie’s Arm

      Well, you’re only halfway through the book 😉

    • Jack Derwent

      The idea more or less is that he may have had sexual feelings for her but it’s never explicitly confirmed beyond Bev’s own fears.

      • Trey Black

        That’s what I gathered as well

  • Samaras_Madness

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Beverly’s relationship with her father not sexual in nature? I was under the impression it was only a concern her mother had that IT played upon when she returned to her childhood home. It’s been over a decade and a half since I read the book. I distinctly remember the line “that’s right, I beat you because I wanted to fuck you”, wanted being the operative word

    • Georgie’s Arm

      Spoilers for those who haven’t read the book, but his desires are hinted at in a part where Bev thinks ever since her body started changing there had been a smell between the two of them. Towards the end, she has a confrontation with him where he wants her to take her pants off so he can check if she’s still intact in a way he knows how.

      Fukunaga definitely took these suggestions much further in his script. He wrote Al to have been sexually molesting Bev for a while. It remains to be seen how much of his ideas are still in this version.

      • Samaras_Madness

        That’s what I thought. “incestuous relationship” makes it sound like an ongoing molestation issue. I really hope they didn’t keep Fukunaga’s vision in that respect. I thought it was handled much better in the book.

    • Chip

      By the end of the book, her dad goes into an IT brainwash mode, and was pretty much going to rape/kill her at IT’s will.

    • Curt Peppers

      Everyone is talking about the almost incestual rape in the book, but I haven’t seen anyone mentioning the orgy in the sewer. Hopefully, that isn’t in the movie.

      • Already covered a few weeks ago–not in the movie, never intended to be included in the movie.

      • Samaras_Madness

        That’s already confirmed to not be included…. thank God.

    • Papa_spoosh

      yeah theres a part where the dad found out (by stalking) that she’s been hanging out with the boys and he wants to “check” her to basically make sure shes still a virgin. Also the mom asks her in a roundabout way, if her father ever did anything to her. Nothing outright said or done to make it a fact but its in the air for sure.

  • Chip

    The leaches are gonna be interesting, if that gets included.

    • Trav

      Agreed. The leaches and the Eddie’s encounter with It on the baseball field as an adult were the two scariest parts of the book for me.

  • Lady Kai

    I get nervous when I see clowns but this one here i want to see. Lol

  • Evan3

    I’ll never understand this. If they were going to go for the R rating anyways, why not keep the far more talented Fukunaga at the helm?

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