To be explicit, I’m not talking about the script for the IT remake directed by Andrés Muschietti, scheduled to creep into US Theaters on September 8th. Before New Line threw their support behind Muschietti, an adaptation of IT was in the works with True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga directing, based on a script he co-wrote with Chase Palmer. So while I won’t be divulging secrets for September’s IT, potential similarities between the scripts may reveal related elements, so if you fear spoilers, proceed at your own risk!
October 1987: The film begins with Will helping Georgie waterproof his paper boat before sending him out into a rainstorm. The scene that follows is familiar: After losing the boat down a sewage drain, he’s confronted by Pennywise (who was to be played by Will Poulter) who invites Georgie to join the circus before grabbing him with “an unusually LONG arm and CLAW-like hand”. Death ensues.
June 1988: We spend considerable time with Mike and his father Leroy, learning that the youngster doesn’t go to school with his peers, rather he works at his family’s slaughterhouse. We meet the rest of the Losers Club on the last day of school. Beverly (Bev) is a new girl whose mom is an alcoholic mess and explains the facts of life by showing her a bloody tampon.
We meet the Travis Bowers and his gang: Victor, and Hockstettler; we see the opening events in a bitter feud that will escalate throughout the film. Will’s parents have become catatonic following Georgie’s death. Eddie’s mom is described as so fat she works on a puzzle on her stomach. Stan is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah. Ben is obsessed with Derry history and spends time in the library.
Stan is the first to encounter IT in the form of a naked woman who emerges from a puddle of menstrual blood. It’s a moment that feels very reminiscent of The Shining: “ANGLE FROM BEHIND her as she steps out of the water, towards him. The naked woman’s back is full of sores and bleeding, her butt shredded and rotten.”
The Bowers Gang tortures Ben by the river before Travis drops his father’s knife and the “Loser” escapes. The other Losers, farther down the river, discover the sneaker of a missing boy. The Bowers Gang takes their aggressions out on Mike, chasing him into a metalworking factory. Before Mike gives them the slip, Hockstettler becomes obsessed with the ironworks and refuses to leave with the rest of the gang. He’s compelled into an opening the leads into the sewers where he encounters Pennywise before being devoured by ghost children.
Will encounters IT in the form of Georgie; Beverly encounters IT in the form of disembodied voices and blood that gushes from her bathroom sink. Ben reveals that he is a sort of town historian and tells his club about Derry’s violent past; the original townsfolks all disappeared without a trace. The Losers take a trip to the local swim hole where, while sunbathing, they all admit to encountering Pennywise in one form or another. The Kids inform the local authorities of IT’s existence and are, of course, laughed at.
July 4th, 1988: Mike’s father (in the hospital on his deathbed) tells him that Derry is a poisonous town; he tells him about how IT once led a band of KKK Members to destroy an all-black speakeasy (a scene that includes violent flashbacks). Mike then encounters Hockstettler’s ghost in a hospital morgue. Later, on July 4th, the Losers Club and the Bowers Gang engage in an epic fireworks battle that takes them through town; eventually, the kids seek shelter in the condemned Neibolt House. The Losers encounter Pennywise and injure him before the clown retreats. Later, a news report announces that a one-armed man has been arrested and charged with atrocities committed by Pennywise.
Related Article: Meet The Losers Club in Behind the Scenes Pics from the Set of “IT”
August 1879: A lumberjack named Heroux enters a bar (The Silver Dollar Salon) and has a bite and a drink before killing a group of men playing cards. The piano player is revealed to be Pennywise, controlling the man’s actions, while the majority of the bar’s patrons don’t seem to notice the commotion—or simply don’t care.
Back to Derry, 1988 (following the events of July 4th, but the exact month is uncertain): Will realizes that Pennywise uses the sewers to travel, and convenes the Losers Club for a desperate mission to destroy the clown once and for all. Eddie’s Doctor explains that he isn’t really sick or allergic, as his mother has constantly assured him. Travis is humiliated by his father and kills him (under the manipulation of Pennywise, it is insinuated).
Beverly gets dressed up for Stan’s Bar Mitzvah; her father is turned on by her prettiness and attempts to rape her (again, most likely under the manipulative force of Pennywise). After Stan’s Bar Mitzvah, the town is consumed in a storm as the well-armed Losers Club ventures into the sewers. They’re followed by the Bowers Gang who, led by Travis, plan on killing them all.
The Losers land on a membrane, like the translucent skin of a waterbed, with millions of spiders beneath it. Victor accidently punctures the membrane while perusing the kids and is painfully consumed by the spiders. Travis hears the commotion from a distance and assumes the Losers are being murdered before the spiders descend on him as well.
They enter a tomb-like chamber where waterfalls run upwards; they fall up and plunge into a pool of water containing a hideous starfish-like monster with tentacles, which they are lucky to out maneuver. Will enters Pennywise’s lair through a small trap door before being separated from the rest of the Losers. Pennywise torments Will mercilessly before moving in for the kill.
The Losers emerge from the darkness and focus their combined fury on Pennywise. On the ropes, the clown morphs into Georgie and implores Will to have mercy on him, claiming he’s still alive with the other victims inside Pennywise. Will is almost convinced, but snaps back to reality in time to blow the evil clown to pieces with M-80s; Pennywise deflates like a popped balloon.
The Losers are thrust back into the sewers, which are being flooded by the relentless storm raging above. They fear drowning, but Beverly takes each one of her male companion’s faces between her hands:
“One by one the kids shoot out of a STORM PIPE into the PENOBSCOT RIVER, just like Georgie’s paper boat. They pop up like tops, blinking owlishly against the daylight. The sky is blue. The storm has passed.”
On shore, the Losers Club cut their palms and swear a blood oath to return to Derry should Pennywise ever return. A balloon is seen floating off into the distance before it pops.
The script contains 2 F-bombs, but there’s otherwise no indication that Fukunaga’s IT needed to be Rated R. To me, personally, the ending felt incredibly weak, with Beverly magically saving the day through the power of love. Otherwise, I thought the script was decent and well-paced with the most obvious weakness being the kid’s dialog. As a child of the 1980s myself, I can state emphatically: We didn’t talk like that!
So what do you think of the synopsis for Fukunaga’s IT? Sound off in the Comments section!