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Andy Muschietti Considered Pennywise Taking the Form of Freddy Krueger!

Would this have been awesome or a bit too distracting?

As soon as we learned that New Line was re-adapting Stephen King’s IT and bumping the timeline up to the ’80s, it immediately crossed our mind that Pennywise *could* take the form of another New Line icon, Freddy Krueger. After all, the novel’s Pennywise takes the form of movie monsters that were popular in the ’50s…

The bulk of the story in Andy Muschietti’s IT is set in 1989, hot on the heels of A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Child being released. In fact, a theater marquee in one scene advertises that Dream Child is playing in Derry. So it would’ve made perfect sense that one of the kids had seen the film, and was terrified of Freddy Krueger.

As it turns out, Muschietti did consider a Freddy cameo. In a chat with Ain’t It Cool News this week, he revealed why he ultimately decided against it.

Obviously we considered that for a bit, but I wasn’t too interested in bringing Freddy Krueger into the mix,” Muschietti told the site. “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.”

He continued, “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!'”

As cool as it would’ve been to see Pennywise take the form of Freddy, I kind of love that IT doesn’t prey upon nostalgia in ways you’d expect. Instead of hammering us over the head with homages, Muschietti instead focused on telling the best story/making the best film possible, and I think that really shows in the finished product.

Still though, what could have been was pretty damn awesome.



  • Jay Bennett

    Can’t wait for the cinematic extended universe!

    • Grimphantom
    • Coming 2019 – The Leper
      Followed by Long Faced Painting Mama Woman
      Closely followed by the long anticipated The Sink

      • Saturn

        I’m looking forward to The Sink the most, as I believe the character could be strong enough for a trilogy.
        Rumour has it that horror icon Johnathon Schaech did actually appear in an uncredited role in IT as the The Sink, and is in talks to reprise the role that only HE could ever play with such loving skill.

        • Definitely. When I heard that such an iconic horror actor was starring in IT I was queuing outside the cinema. No one can blast blood up a wall like Johnathon “Bub but not Bub” Schaech!

          • Saturn

            Interesting fact – even though a lot of people believe that scene was done using CGI it turns out that Scaech was such a consummate professional he actually performed the stunt himself, having mastered the art after taking several dog’s blood waterboarding sessions, and got it spot on on the first take. There are rumblings of an Oscar nomination – which personally I feel he deserves after making classic after classic.

  • José Mellinas
    • cat

      Yeah!! If they just had the glove and the laugh it would have been enough.

      • Chip

        You could kinda argue that Pennywise’s transforming in the Nebold house is a subtle homage to Freddy’s claw-wiggles.

  • A2VL

    I would have preferred Freddy to the clown room honestly. The clown fear was the most trivial and I think adding Freddy would have been something really special.

  • C-3PO’s

    Feels like a missed opportunity to me.

  • Blood Boil

    No. Just no.

  • MrX13

    That would have been pretty kool to see but glad they didn’t go that route. I would have understand it completely storywise but not sure if bringing FK as a cameo would have been too much

  • Necro

    At a moment’s mention it sounds like a really good idea, but the more I sit and think about it it’s probably good that they didn’t. It would’ve been more distracting than anything, plus ‘Freddy’ wasn’t the only iconic/scary character from the 80’s. I get the whole New Line thing, but I think then you’d have people/fans asking “where’s Jason?” or “where’s Chucky?” etc. I think it’s a good thing they didn’t in the end.

    • Rage72

      Yep! I totally agree!

  • jurgmandr

    As long as they didn’t just throw freddy on screen and go “ooh look the kid is scared of freddy krueger” there would have been some cool ways to reference Nightmare on Elm St.
    Especially if it manifests in an interesting way like instead of the sink being a fountain of blood, one of the kid’s beds is a fountain of blood.

  • Dark Darth

    Well they haven’t filmed the sequel yet, there’s still time

  • Randy Moses

    This would have sounded good on paper, but have been awkward on the screen. I do wish they would have compromised, and filmed it, so it could have been a special feature. That would have been neat.

  • MaryMaria

    Terrible idea, I’m glad he shut it down almost immediately. Way too distracting and meta for a movie like this. The movie posters/marquees were just fine for a horror audience wink.

    • dukeblues

      Meta is the worst. It’s one of the few things I don’t like about F13 Jason Lives. I also hate the phrase “meta” but that’s just me.

      • MaryMaria

        I haven’t seen F13, so I’m not sure how they used it, but yeah. I think sometimes it can be good, so long as it’s not too in-your-face, but broadly speaking, I’m not a fan.

  • As cool as that would have been, they made the right decision not doing it. I know the novel contained Universal Monsters as Pennywise’s forms, but putting Freddy in the film would just take attention away from much of it. Everyone would be talking more about Freddy appearing than Pennywise himself.

    • dukeblues

      I could do without Freddy in general. Universal monsters work because they are almost generic. BTW, I love the classic universal monster movies.

      • As do I. Especially the ’30s and ’40s ones. I wish Bela Lugosi had stuck around longer as Dracula, as he killed it (no pun intended) in the first film.

    • Rage72

      I totally agree Darkknight! Everybody would’ve been talking about Freddy’s cameo! I actually felt like while watching IT, the movie played like a homage to Nightmare On Elm Street. This felt like the NOES remake that we should have got, instead of the one that we ended up getting.

      • darklordofgorgoroth

        IT is basically a semi-ripoff of Nightmare anyway…..

  • Chip

    Considering it was 1988, Freddy was pretty much well past being a scary figure anyways. 1988-1991 kinda heralded the death of the 80’s slasher. The kids at that age would have actually LIKED Freddy, or at least thought he was silly.

    • Kaijudude

      I remember those days , hell, i was Freddy for Halloween one year . and yeah at that point he was at his folk hero ( villain? ) status , And this had to be around 88′ or 89′ , maybe even 90′ . So while it’s plausible , probably not , although i have to admit , it would have probably been the coolest cameo …. probably ever. lol

    • Adam Clifton

      Why? 1989 is when Part 5 came out

      • Chip

        ….When was the last time you watched the slasher movies that came out around that year? ^_^;;

        • Childrens imaginations don’t seem too concerned with ‘time periods’ or the general ‘slasher genre’. I would have been perfectly okay with Freddy making a Cameo.

          Hell the bad guy from ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ messed me up big time back in the day. I wasn’t concerned with the general state of the horror genre back them.

    • Aaron Johnson

      I think he practically had a breakfast cereal at that point, so yeah. I liked the forms “It” took just fine. They were shocking and creepy, particularly that thing in the library.

    • Samaras_Madness

      A) Dream Child WAS released in 89 B) Small towns often don’t get major releases until later in a movies life cycle.

  • Adam Clifton


  • Papa_spoosh

    Just because it’s New Line, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. It would make SOOOO much more sense the other way around. If Freddy fucked with kids in a clown suit to reference IT as a movie. IT may take classic universal forms in the book but it’s in no way a cameo or some sort of fan service. Freddy is hammy as shit tho and that would be awesome if his burnt head was all painted up to mess with a dreamer.

  • Saturn

    Skarsgård for Freddy!

  • AdamX

    A scene where he morphs into Freddy/Jason/Pinhead/Leatherface etc would be awesome. Silly in hindsight most likely but still awesome.

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