One of the big questions at Tuesday’s world premiere of “It” — held at Hollywood’s Chinese Theater — was how do you go about adapting Stephen King’s 1100-page mammoth about a shapeshifting clown that terrorizes the small town of Derry, Maine?
“The problem with a book like this is you’re choosing between what’s great, and what’s great,” Gary Dauberman, one of the film’s screenwriters, said. “There’s not a lot of ‘we don’t need that because it’s not so good,’ because it’s all f—ing amazing.”
According to Barbara Muschietti — one of the film’s producers as well as the sister of director Andy Muschietti — her brother had a special attachment to the source material.
“It’s a very personal film,” she said. “It’s very much Andy reading Stephen King at 14-and-a-half [years old] in his bedroom in Buenos Aires, and the interpretations of the fears are Andy’s fears.”
When most people think of “It,” they usually jump to the clown paint, fangs, and gore, but when Dauberman and director Muschietti were working on the story, they wanted to be sure to capture the book’s coming-of-age feel.
“That was the most important aspect of it when I was writing, and I know for Andy too,” Dauberman said. “That’s why I think ‘It’ resonates with so many people, because it’s not a straight horror book — it’s a coming-of-age story. There are great moments of brevity which make those moments of depravity pop that much more.”
The premiere celebration continued at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which was decorated to look like Pennywise’s (Bill Skarsgard) lair, and wallpapered with wanted posters of the missing Derry kids, with plenty of children in rain slickers carrying red balloons wandering the floor.
The biggest hit at the after-party, however, was the karaoke bar. “It’s” young stars Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, and Wyatt Oleff, stole the show, singing hits like “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, and “Juicy” by the Notorious B.I.G.
Other stars at the party included “The Big Sick’s” Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon, “30 Rock” alum Jack McBrayer, “The Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick, and Derek Hough.
“It” floats into theaters on Sept. 8.