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‘IT’ Director Explains Why Stephen King Wasn’t Involved With the New Adaptation

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Historically speaking, Stephen King adaptations tend to be better when the master of literary horror isn’t involved — which may bode well for Andy Muschetti’s new adaptation of IT, as the author recently revealed that he did not participate in the development of his iconic tale of terror. For his part, Muschietti apparently had his reasons, and the way he tells it, they seem like pretty good ones.

While speaking with Variety earlier this month, King said he was never asked to be involved with the new adaptation of IT, which centers on a group of misfit kids who join forces to combat the evil entity that’s menacing their small town. Collider recently published their interview with Muschietti from last year’s set visit, in which the director explains why King wasn’t a part of the process:

 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? [laughs].

To be honest, that sounds completely reasonable. What works on the page doesn’t always (in fact, rarely ever) works on the screen. Making the transition between media formats requires creative sacrifices that could be compromised by the involvement of the original creator. Sure, Muschietti could make his case, and King may very well be amenable to the changes, but having the involvement of someone that iconic and revered might make a director (especially one with only a single feature credit to his name) think twice about even asking to make the necessary changes. It’s an intimidating prospect.

But King doesn’t appear to have any hard feelings; the author told Variety that he’s seen IT, and he thinks Muschietti’s film is “fabulous.” We’ll see for ourselves on September 8.

‘IT’ Director Also Wants to Tackle Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’

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