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‘It’ Producer Confirms R-Rating and Sequel For New Stephen King Adaptation

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

If you’ve read Stephen King’s It, then the idea of a film adaptation that isn’t rated R sounds preposterous — and yet, it happened before with the 1990 television miniseries (which does not hold up, by the way). For those concerned that the new adaptation from director Andres Muschietti might forgo the R rating in favor of courting a wider audience, the producer of the upcoming film has laid those worries to rest while also confirming that Warner Bros. has every intention of making a sequel.

While speaking with Collider, producer Dan Lin confirmed that Muschietti’s new adaptation of It will indeed be rated R:

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.

That’s something of a relief, although it doesn’t necessarily mean that the finished product won’t be a fairly safe and somewhat generic studio horror film — which has been a major concern ever since Cary Fukunaga parted ways with the project.

Lin went on to confirm that a sequel is being planned, and though it usually seems a bit presumptuous for studios to plot sequels before the first film has even hit theaters, but It is structured in such a way that a sequel is necessary to complete the story. Based on Stephen King’s classic horror novel, It centers on a group of childhood friends who battle an unimaginably evil entity (one that often appears in the form of a clown); years later, a tragedy brings the friends back together to fight the insidious thing once again, this time as adults.

Although Muschietti is working from a different script, they’ve clearly kept the structure from the original Fukunaga screenplay, which he co-wrote with Chase Palmer. King’s novel switches back and forth between the characters as kids in the ’50s and as adults in the ’80s, while the new adaptation clearly divides the two timelines right down the middle; the first film focuses on the group as kids, while the sequel follows them as adults.

Some fans might not like the narrative switch, but it’s a smart move that allows for the first film to function as a complete story — just in case it doesn’t prove successful enough to warrant the sequel.

It stars Bill Skarsgard (Hemlock Grove) as Pennywise the clown, with Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Chosen Jacobs as the terrorized kids. The film is set to hit theaters on September 8.

See Pennywise the Clown’s Full Costume From Stephen King’s ‘It’ Remake

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