It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Andrés Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel It will be rated R. There aren’t many King adaptations that turn out PG-13, and the reason is that there’s really no upside. The amount of teenager viewers you could draw in is negated by the fans of the book you’ll lose who know that to do the novel justice, you’ll have to give it an R rating. Also, we know that “R” isn’t necessarily a death knell for a movie, especially if it has a reasonable budget (and no one expects a film based on It to cost the same as a superhero blockbuster).
Steve Weintraub recently spoke to producer Dan Lin at the press day for The LEGO Batman Movie, and Lin confirmed that It, which he’s also producing, is going to be rated R:
DAN LIN: It is a rated-R movie. If you’re going to make a “Rated-R movie”, you have to fully embrace what it is, and you have to embrace the source material. It is a scary clown that’s trying to kill kids. So of course that’s going to be a rated-R movie. The kids are amazing. You very much get a Stand by Me vibe as far as their camaraderie and the way they joke with each other and that they really care for each other. They do have a scary crown that’s taken over the town of Derry, so it’s going to be rated R.
While Lin didn’t go into detail on whether or not this was a “Hard-R”, I think it’s reasonable to expect that this isn’t just going to be a PG-13 movie with a few F-bombs dropped in. It’s going to be scary, it’s probably going to be a little gory, and that’s what everyone expects to see.
Fans of the book also know that the clown terrorizing kids is only half the story. The second half of the book follows the kids as adults, and Lin confirms that their plan is to make a sequel about the adults assuming the first movie is a success.
Check out the video above. It opens September 8th. Look for more from Steve’s interview with Dan Lin soon.