LOS ANGELES—“It” is coming. Get ready for the first big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 best-selling novel about an ancient shapeshifter predator that people can only call It. The being primarily takes the shape of Pennywise the Clown (Bill Skarsgard).
Already, advance media screenings have created buzz that director Andy Muschietti’s feature film version of the massively popular novel by the master author of the horror genre is “scary as sh*t.”
Playing the seven young outcasts, who call themselves the Losers’ Club—bullied kids in the town of Derry, Maine, who encounter the malevolent clown lurking in the sewers—are promising young actors.
Finn Wolfhard (Richie Tozier) plays Mike Wheeler in the hit TV series, “Stranger Things.”
Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh, the only girl in the tight gang) will be seen next as the younger version of Amy Adams’ character in HBO’s new crime-drama series, “Sharp Objects.”
Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough) was memorable opposite such actors as Bill Murray, Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy in “St. Vincent.”
Wyatt Oleff (Stan Uris) was the Young Peter Quill in “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”
Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon) portrays Will Grover in the TV series, “Hawaii Five-O.”
Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom) counts among his credits “Geostorm,” “Ant-Man,” “The History of Us” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.”
Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kasprak) marks his first studio film with “It.”
Excerpts from our chat:
If a monster suddenly shows up beside your friends, would you run away or help your friends?
Finn Wolfhard: I’d like to think that I would help my friends.
Wyatt Oleff: I’d like to think that I’d be able to do something, but I’d probably just stand there paralyzed.
Finn: It depends on the situation. If we were in a house or a sewer, and Jack or Jaeden is cradled by Pennywise, I’d definitely try to grab his legs or something. If that didn’t work, I’d probably run.
Chosen Jacobs: Yeah, just give it one shot.
Wyatt: I wouldn’t even go in there in the first place. I’d be like, guys, how about no? Which is exactly what Stanley (“Stan” Uris, his character) does, but it doesn’t work.
Chosen: I’d be the guy in the movie who just leaves. The role is over in the first five minutes. If I was in “Poltergeist” and I heard (whispers), “Get out,” I’d go, “Let’s go somewhere else!” I hope I’d be more courageous.
Jack Dylan Grazer: It depends on my mood (laughs). No, I would definitely help my friends in need if there was a monster there. Because this [movie was my] training … like my boot camp.
Sophia Lillis: I know Beverly (Marsh, her character) would. But me, personally, I don’t know but, hopefully, I’m strong enough to do that.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: If I was in the sewers with my friends and they needed help, I’d definitely help. But if I was by myself, I am out of there, man (laughs).
Jaeden Lieberher: That’s the same exact situation as in the movie. If we’re all together, it’ll be so much easier, and we will win against the evil clown. That is the theme of the movie, and that’s how it is in real life, especially with us.
Were you familiar with Stephen King before you made this movie?
Chosen: It’s hard to live on earth and not know about Stephen King. He’s a legend.
Finn: I read two Stephen King things before “It.” I already read “The Body” and “Carrie.” I was familiar with King and this work.
Wyatt: I was always familiar with the story about the clown who kidnaps and kills children. I never wanted to dive into that because I wasn’t as much of a horror fan. Once I got the part, I was, oh, well now I have to really research this. So, I enveloped myself in the story through a lot of ways, through people telling me of the miniseries, a little bit of the book—all of that.
Chosen: Stephen King’s such an iconic figure, so I already knew a lot about him because he already had films and miniseries made off of his novels. But with this book, the role and how people say this is a legendary piece of work, it hyped him up for me even more.
Jeremy: I knew that Stephen King is a legendary writer, but I never knew about “It” before this movie.
Jaeden: I knew about “It” because it’s a cult classic and that he has written the most amazing books, like “The Shining” and “Stand By Me” and their screen adaptations. So, it’s incredible to bring this book to life.
Sophia: I knew about “It” before. I read “The Shining” for a book club, then I watched the movie right after. But I never really thought much about the horror genre until after this [project] came out. It was a whole new world to me, and I never knew there was such a big fan base. It’s amazing.
Jack: Yeah, same with me. I had read a little bit of “It,” and I knew about “It” even before I even auditioned for this. I knew about Stephen King and “The Shining,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “Stand By Me” and all of that stuff. I read a short story by him called “Apt Pupil” awhile ago.
Based on the book, there will be a sequel that takes place many years later. If you get to pick the actor who will play your older character, who would you choose?
Finn: Mine could be Bill Hader. He could be perfect as Richie. He could play serious, but he’s also one of the funniest people alive. So, yeah, that would be my dream.
Wyatt: Heath Ledger would be my pick if he was still around. But for now, I’d definitely say Joseph Gordon-Levitt, because if he grew out his hair and made it a little curlier, we kind of look similar, so that could work.
Chosen: For me, I would do Chadwick Boseman, because he’s just awesome.
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