Stephen King’s Dark Tower arrives in theaters in later this week, but that is not the only film adaptation making its way soon. During the past couple weeks, new footage of the IT movie was released–first at the San Diego Comic Con, then on the internet.
According to the British Board of Film Classification, King’s IT is revealed to have a runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes. What does this mean for the movie? Here is an explanation:
First off, this adaptation is not a remake nor a reboot of the 1990 miniseries, but rather a new adaptation based on King’s 1986 novel of the same name.
In order to understand what the story is essentially about, here is a Goodreads review on the book that I wrote earlier this year:
“A 1,000+ page novel which explores the unfortunate lives of seven individuals (or eight if you count [the bully,] Henry Bowers), Stephen King’s IT is a great story that–by the end of the book–has a person ponder on the concept of living. What is it that makes a child a child, and what exactly is the idea of growing up? Fear comes into play throughout the entirety of this classic King tale as the children (The Losers Club) are forced to face the terror that takes on a myriad of forms. Faith is another theme portrayed in this story, and it is this pure power of faith that emanates from the mind as well as the heart of a child. As children, we are allowed to believe in the impossible, in a power so strong that fear cannot merely destroy it. As adults, such a reputed power ever so slowly begins to lose its flavor, and it is as adults that we forget who we once were. Being a human being–whether as a child or as an adult–involves having to deal with the balance between fear and faith. Pennywise the Dancing Clown–otherwise known as the eponymous character IT–takes our fears and manifests them into a physical three-dimensional form. We should know better, though. This may be corny, but no matter what age you are, no matter what generation you are born into, or no matter where you come from, fear can be relinquished via the strong power of belief. This novel is a must-read for people of almost all ages (…)”
In layman’s terms, the story centers around a town in Maine that, for many decades, has been plagued with the horrendous presence of an entity that takes many forms. It is an entity that consumes mostly children because their fears are fresh. Not a single person does a thing about It until a group of children comes into play. They risk their lives in the process due to that fear, but they learn about faith and love in each other as well. The story goes back and forth from 1958 to 1985, but it is done ever so eloquently.
The second point in this article is this. The miniseries, which aired on ABC, had a runtime of a bit over 3 hours. The miniseries was divided into two episodes/ parts: the first half dealt with the group of misfits (the Losers) experiencing and dealing with the eponymous clown, Pennywise, when they were kids; the second half of the miniseries involved the group finally defeating It once and for all after 27 years or more.
However, there is a downside: The miniseries lacked character development. Each of the seven Losers experienced the horrors of the clown, united in solidarity, then immediately went down into the sewers in an attempt to destroy the monster. They did not have much time to bond en masse. The miniseries also lacked parts of the book such as the themes of faith and growing up, and crucial subplots which were integral to the story, such as the exploration into the abandoned house on 29 Neibolt Street, the burning of the Black Spot nightclub, and other important events. In addition, the novel provided character development on secondary and minor characters–e.g. Henry Bowers, Patrick Hockstetter, Eddie Corcoran, etc.
This 2017 adaptation solely deals with the Losers when they were younger. Two hours and fifteen minutes may seem long, but this provides leeway for the story to be executed properly and smoothly. The movie will be a major improvement on the miniseries, and the author himself approves of this.
Sources: Stephen King and British Board of Film Classification