Spoilers follow if you haven’t seen IT yet.
Stephen King‘s classic horror novel “IT” totals roughly 1,138 pages and covers 27 years of history in Derry, Maine, more or less. The doorstop of a book follows a group of friends known as the Losers Club both as kids in the 1950s and adults in the 1980s. In each decade, they band together to take on the fearsome foe referenced in the title. The story is brutal, unforgiving, envelope-pushing, and completely engrossing.
Andy Muschietti‘s live-action take on IT captures much of the magic and mayhem laid down in the pages of King’s original story, but since it’s truly an adaptation and not a translation, some changes were made along the way. Enough departures from the source material exist to encourage discussions about which version is better for years to come, especially since some changes were made for the better while others, arguably, were missteps.
Plenty of things from King’s acclaimed novel made their way into the movie. Nearly everything about Georgie, from the brand of wax his brother Bill used to seal his boat to his bloody, severed arm, was a direct translation. The same could be said for Henry Bowers’ sadism, Ben’s fondness for the Derry library, and Eddie taking a stand against his overbearing mother, along with the finer details found throughout. (Like a couple of turtle references for the King faithful).
The biggest change? The setting. Derry, Maine was still the location but setting the story in the 1980s rather than the 1950s drastically changed the design, lingo, and pop culture references. We’ve yet to see how this temporal shift will affect the follow-up film, IT: Chapter Two, but clearly the sequel story will be set in the 21st century. In other words, expect more changes in the future; for now, we’ll stick with what we know.
Most of the changes concern the Losers Club, a.k.a. Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), big-boned Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor), comedian-in-training Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard), neatnik Stan Uris (Wyatt Oleff), the
historian hard-working Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs), hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer) and tomboy Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis). I’ll start by addressing them one by one before moving into other changes the film has made from the book: