Published Sep 06, 2017Back in the fall of 1990, Stephen King's 1,100-plus-page horror novel IT was given the miniseries treatment over at ABC. Rocky Horror Picture Show star Tim Curry gave the most terrifying performance of his career with his turn as the shape-shifting Pennywise, and for the next decade sleepovers were never the same.
But that's not to say the original adaptation was perfect: the story plodded along, the spider looked fake, and let's not forget Richard Thomas' ponytail.
Thankfully, IT is moving to the silver screen with Andy Muschietti's remake, a crisp and creepy reboot of the franchise that's sure to scare a whole new generation.
"In this movie, we have the freedom of being an R-rated film," Jaeden Lieberher tells Exclaim! while sitting amongst his castmates in a school bus-turned-VR simulator while at Toronto's Fan Expo. "In the miniseries they didn't really get to explore the dark parts of it."
You'll have to wait until Thursday, September 7, when the movie is finally released, to find out what that means. Until then, here are three things we learned from the new Losers' Club about the movie.
1. Forget what you've heard about child actors — these kids kept things pretty low-key while shooting
The Losers' Club has a real sense of camaraderie on screen, and that extended to the cast's time away from the set.
"We'd have dinner every night and then sleepovers every weekend in Wyatt [Oleff]'s room," Lieberher says, partly because it was the biggest, and, as co-star Sophia Lillis points out, "his mom is cool."
"I think the moms got together more than we did," adds Jeremy Ray Taylor.
"All the moms would have dinner together while we'd go walk around Toronto," says Finn Wolfhard.
The city, primarily Riverdale and nearby Pinewood Studios, was one of a few Canadian locations — Oshawa and Port Hope among them — where filming took place. (Wolfhard says they spent a chunk of their off time in Kensington Market, A&C Games and Steve's Music Store, which isn't that surprising if you've seen videos of the avid guitarist.)
2. They had to take a crash course in culture from the 1980s
Switching things up from the original miniseries, all of the film's action takes place in the summer of 1989. (A movie marquee seen in the Port Hope scenes, masquerading as downtown Derry, ME, advertises A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 and Batman.) Because all seven cast members of the Losers' Club were born post-Y2K, that meant the film's crew had to give them an in-depth binder explaining fashion trends, music and the lingo of the day.
"I miss the short shorts," Chosen Jacobs, who plays Mike Hanlon, says. "I wish that was still acceptable now."
He's joking (maybe?), but he's not kidding around when he says having the film set in the late '80s came with another unexpected benefit: "Nowadays we're all just stuck on our phones, but during the film we barely used our phones ever. I miss that."
3. They're not fully buying the idea that the clowning industry is suffering because of Pennywise's resurgence
For a brief moment in late August, the media became obsessed with the fact that — according to the World Clown Association president — clowns were having "school shows and library shows" cancelled because of IT.
King broached the topic earlier this year on Twitter, saying: "kids have always been scared of clowns. Don't kill the messengers for the message."
"We love everyone in the clown community," Jacobs says, speaking for the group. "We appreciate y'all, because without y'all, we wouldn't be able to make this movie."