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Ways Stephen King’s It Is Totally Different Than The Movies


Although IT: Chapter One did a wonderful job
of capturing the characters and the feel of the book, a lot of the novel’s specifics were
significantly altered. Now that the story is complete with the release
of IT: Chapter Two, we have a more complete picture of how the films match up to the book. Both the book and the movie jump back and
forth between two different time periods nearly three decades apart, but while the book alternates
between 1957 and 1985, the films are set in 1989 and 2016. Considering the novel was originally released
in 1986, making the ’80s timeline feel tangibly recent to its readers, it makes sense that
director Andy Muschietti and his team would update the film to feel contemporary to today’s
audiences. Although much of Derry and the story of IT
exists in what feels like a sort of timeless bubble, making the decade almost irrelevant,
the modern-day setting does alter the story in a few minor but effective ways. Although both the book and the films focus
on the same group of characters in two different time periods, the films draw a much firmer
line between past and present, with none of the adult versions of the characters even
making an appearance in IT: Chapter One. While Chapter Two isn’t quite as distinct
in its focus and includes a fair number of flashbacks, it’s still accurate to say that
Chapter One is about the kids and Chapter Two is about the adults. This is very different from King’s book, which
braids the two time periods together. Streamlining King’s narrative likely worked
to the films’ benefit, since it may have felt jarring to visually jump between time periods
as often as the book does. Splitting the films into a children-centric
film and an adult-centric film allowed each one to end with a climactic showdown against
Pennywise, even if the kids’ victory would prove tragically impermanent. When we first meet the adult Losers, they
haven’t spoken in many years, and the book reveals what each of them has been up to since
they moved away from Derry. “I’ll be forty and far away from
here. I thought you said you wanted to get out of
this town too.” Some of their professions remained the same
from the book to the film — Ben is an architect, Beverly is a fashion designer, Bill is an
author and screenwriter, and Mike is the Derry town librarian. But two of the Losers’ professions were changed
for the film. The screen version of Richie Tozier is now
a stand-up comedian rather than a radio DJ, and instead of a limo driver, Chapter Two’s
Eddie Kaspbrak is now a risk assessment analyst. In King’s version of the story, none of the
characters were exactly happy about having to fight IT again, but still felt bound by
the promise they made as children. In contrast, the adult characters in the movie
are all determined to leave Derry once they figure out what’s going on, leaving the town
at the mercy of IT, and need to be dragged back into the Losers Club kicking and screaming. We never learn exactly what IT is, in either
the book or the movies, but both attempt to give at least a partial explanation. IT is some sort of ancient malevolent force
that crashed into the Earth millions of years ago, in the spot that would one day become
Derry. In both versions of the story, characters
learn this backstory through a vision, but the circumstances surrounding that vision
are very different in the films than in the book. The way King wrote it, the child Losers attempt
to mimic a Native ritual that Ben read about to try to induce visions that will help them
learn more about IT. Only Mike and Richie end up being successful,
and are temporarily transported millions of years into the past, where they witness IT’s
arrival on Earth. However, in the movie, it’s the adult Mike
that gets the vision, through seeking out a Native tribe who give him drugs that enable
him to see the arrival of IT, along with the ritual their tribe used to fight IT. “Can you torch me?” Another big reveal the book made about IT
is the fact that IT is female, and the version of IT that the adult Losers encounter is pregnant. It’s probably for the best that the films
left this part out, leaving IT as a genderless, ageless entity. The film feels more self-contained and definitive,
without the sense that it might be teasing a sequel. In the book, after the Losers’ reunion dinner
at the Asian restaurant, the six adults decide to split up and move around Derry on their
own, allowing instinct to guide them. The characters in the book have a feeling
that in order to defeat IT, they’ll need to get back into the mindset they had as children,
casting aside their adult tendencies to make plans, and following their guts instead. In the film, while the Losers still split
up, their motivation is completely reversed. Mike tasks each of them with recovering their
childhood memories through finding a “token,” some sort of significant object that will
help empower them to defeat IT. Having such a defined plan seems to work against
the book’s insistence that defeating IT will require the adult Losers to embrace the uncertainty
and imagination of childhood. In a big departure from the novel, Richie
is revealed to have been harboring romantic feelings for Eddie ever since they were kids. In the book, the adult Richie is single, but
his sexuality never really comes into play. However, IT: Chapter Two spends much of the
film hinting that Richie is hiding his sexuality, and Pennywise preys on his fear of someone
discovering the truth. Richie’s big fear in the book is eyeballs,
which is definitely creepy, but doesn’t have much of an emotional weight to it. On the other hand, Richie’s heartbreaking
reaction to Eddie’s death at the end of Chapter Two helps drive home just how high the cost
of the Losers’ victory was. And at the end of the film, Richie’s visit
to the fence where he carved his and Eddie’s initials as kids, and his smile as he traces
the letters with his fingers, hints that his fear of discovery is now gone, killed with
Pennywise. In the book, while IT does assume the appearance
of Pennywise a fair amount of the time, it also spends a lot of time in a number of other
forms. Some of these guises are included in the films,
but several others are either not included or are only shown extremely briefly. In the book, IT appears to several of the
children as a gigantic bird, and during the climactic battle in the tunnels, it turns
into a giant eyeball and then a massive spider. The films did include a version of the spider,
but cut way back on the rest, substituting them with new, equally disturbing Pennywise
scenes, such as when the clown comes out of the projector to the kids in Chapter One. The way IT plays with the Losers’ perception
of reality was also altered for the films. In the book, during the scene when Beverly
goes to visit her childhood home, Mrs. Kersh’s house transforms into sticky, sugary candy,
playing on Beverly’s childhood fear of the witch from Hansel and Gretel, while the film
just sees it change from the warm apartment Beverly had perceived at first to the dilapidated
building it truly was. This is just one of the many changes the films
make to ITs many appearances, while still maintaining the terrifying sense that IT can
be anywhere, at any time, and we may never know until it’s too late. In the book, Henry Bowers attacks Mike at
the library, stabbing him in the femoral artery and putting him in the hospital, before heading
to the hotel, where he’s killed by Eddie. In the film, these events are reversed, with
Henry appearing in Eddie’s room first. Henry then attacks Mike at the library, but
the other Losers are right behind him after his attack on Eddie, and Henry is killed by
Richie before he can do any serious damage to Mike. This sets up an extremely different dynamic
for the final showdown between the adult Losers and IT, since in the book, Mike is in the
hospital and the rest of the group is forced to take IT on with only five people, one of
whom has a broken arm. In the film, all six are present and able-bodied
when they take on IT. IT is not the only ancient supernatural force
present in Stephen King’s book. There’s also an ancient, cosmic turtle, which
assists the child Losers in their quest to defeat IT. The turtle exists in a sort of void outside
of our reality, where Bill interacts with it and it gives him the Ritual of Chüd, a
battle of wills that draws on the power of Bill’s childhood imagination. While the films contain a few subtle visual
nods to the turtle, that’s as far as its involvement goes. Instead, the Ritual of Chüd is a Native ritual
which involves the burning of the Losers’ tokens in a mysterious artifact, chanting,
and strong belief. It’s eventually revealed that the ritual failed
the Native tribe who attempted to use it, and that Mike knew the whole time. The ritual fails, and it is ultimately the
Losers coming together to make Pennywise small in their minds that allows them to defeat
IT. The town of Derry is much more of a character
in the novel than in the films, and it is strongly implied that the town itself is linked
to IT and sustained by the same ancient evil. So when the adult Losers go on their final
quest through the sewers to destroy IT, the town gets increasingly more wounded. Derry gets pummeled by a vicious storm, and
the townspeople begin to awaken from IT’s thrall, feeling for the first time as though
something may be wrong. The closer the Losers get to their goal, the
more Derry suffers, with pipes exploding violently and buildings collapsing, until eventually
all of downtown Derry is destroyed. The film keeps the destruction of Pennywise
much more contained, with only the house on Neibolt Street collapsing in on itself after
the Losers succeed. Presumably the tunnels underneath the town
have also caved in, but it doesn’t seem to have any impact at all on the conditions on
the surface. One of the strange things about living in
Derry, in both the book and the films, is that once you leave the town, your memory
of it slowly fades, until you don’t even remember that you ever lived there. A big part of the adult Losers’ storylines
is the effort to recover their lost memories, since until Mike called, none of them remembered
knowing each other, or that they’d ever fought IT as children. In the book, this forgetting effect doesn’t
change after the defeat of Pennywise. Mike ends the novel musing that this forgetting
must mean that IT is truly dead now, and wondering how long it will be until even his journal
entries are completely erased. However, IT: Chapter Two takes the complete
opposite approach. Instead of bidding each other sad farewells,
knowing they’ll never see or remember one another again, they keep in touch. While the film’s happy ending is not as bittersweet
as King’s, it still serves to convey that this time, the Losers were successful, and
Pennywise is indeed gone for good. The tragic death of Stan Uris by his own hand
hangs heavy over the characters in both the book and IT: Chapter Two, with his friends
all assuming that he took his life because he was afraid. However, the film gives Stan a last goodbye
that the book never does, in the form of identical letters he writes to each of the Losers, which
he leaves for his wife to mail at some point following his death. He explains that he didn’t take his life for
the reasons they probably thought. He says that he knew he couldn’t bring himself
to return to Derry, but that he also knew that the cosmic strength that the Losers held
when they were all together might not reach its full potential if one of them didn’t believe. Giving Stan some of the final words is an
effective way of communicating that, even in death, Losers stick together. “But if we stick together, all of us, we’ll
win.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 Comments

  1. Chris Grey Author

    I saw it chapter 2 this morning and I can officially put that movie on the list as one of my favorite movies I seen this year and one of my favorite Stephen King's movies.

    Reply
  2. zetnad zxx Author

    so he is gay cause he wanted to play street fighter with a kid he just beat in game? i dont get it, i suppose mike is gay for telling bill at the end of the movie that he loves him, oh damn i hate it when people dive too deep into movies, ofc the kid called richie gay at the time, he was cousins with the town bully. its funny how some people about bulling but when a kid on a movie gets called gay for wanting to play another round in the arcade with a person he just met = the character is gay.

    Reply
  3. Joseph Roberts Author

    I already know how the book is different. I read it when I was 14 long before I saw the original or the remakes. I also own it along with other works of Stephen King.

    Reply
  4. Lynn Nichole Author

    Does anyone not know that Steven kings book came out wayyyyyy before the 2018 movie I mean come on don't say the book it different from the movie it's the movie is way different than the book

    Reply
  5. Lynn Nichole Author

    Bro Richie might not be gay you know Eddie and Richie's friendship was so strong so of course he will react really strongly to his death because of how strong his and eddies friendship was

    Reply
  6. CatKnipND Author

    Ok, the turtle has more importance. Old mythology that the Earth rides on the back of a turtle. Terry Pruitt uses that in his Discworld series. Has a whole long explanation where the inhabitants lower someone down and they see the great turtle. King also makes a reference in The Gunslinger series. (Fun game as you read that. Keep track of the incidents and books they came from that Stephen King used throughout the series)

    Reply
  7. Jeremy Marsh Author

    The movie was so bad I walked out and got my money back. Can't stand the homosexual content in the movie, especially when I have my teenage daughters watching the movie with me. Hollywood you suck, and it is real hot where all of you are headed.

    Reply
  8. Noah Zork Author

    So he believed so much in the power that belief held over the IT entity, that he wrote all of his childhood friends suicide notes, explaining that if he were to return to Derry, he would be the one in the group that would drag everyone down with his non-beleif…. Yeah makes sense…

    Reply
  9. Apenas Mais Games Author

    I love both versions, for me the movie feels like an 80's adventure movie. The book, you feel part of the losers, all the characters are great, it seems like you are building these good childhood memories with them.

    Reply
  10. Daniel Allen Author

    Well the obvious one is Richie is not bisexual in the book like he is hinted to be at the end of Chapter 2, idk what they felt they had to make that change

    Reply
  11. Amber Social Author

    Watching the original 90's version and I think a lot of people forget that the movies actually replicate the tv version more than the actual book.

    Reply
  12. Mari Hawley Author

    I didn't mind the changes to the ritual of chud. My two biggest bones I pick with the movie is 1. I feel like the fact that Mike had to drug Bill. It felt totally disingenuous to their characters. I get in the movie there were going to be changes but Bill was always the one who was totally dedicated to defeating it. They should have just played it that Mike offered the drugs to Bill and gone on from there. 2. I hated Stan's token. Why didn't they go with the synagogue and have someone find something there. I feel like that was incongruent with who Stan was in the first movie.
    I also wished they had destroyed some if not all of the town but I get that would have been too much.

    Reply
  13. bearded kuma Author

    Does the ritual fail? Or does it allow them to face off their finals fears holding them back from actually beating pennywise? I feel like the ritual was the catalyst to their final test

    Reply
  14. Ricardo Alquicira Author

    Wanna tell or should i?
    I think we should both tell
    Looper: what tell me what?
    ITS A BOOK!!!
    no matter what you do the movie and book will Always be different

    Reply
  15. Weeding A Loud Author

    My question is if stan didn’t believe why did he feel the need to kill him self I wouldn’t kill myself over a disbelief almost like he believed so much he couldn’t face it again

    Reply
  16. cybrmaTS Author

    The only bit I had a gripe with was ITs spiderform at the end. But after I thought well logically it'd be different from the book and 90s movie. Also pennywise is the main enemy form and a main character so it'd get rid of him. And looking back at it having him as a spider like clown was creepier than just a spider.

    Reply
  17. Joseph Taylor Author

    One reason, you try to adapt 1000 pg book into a film! esp since the book was also written by a writer who admits he did coke as he wrote it… either way i love the new films and old film,plus book!

    Reply
  18. Fil Vieira Author

    Videos like this are pure fluff, irrelevant and downright dumb. This Book vs. Film debate is the most redundant , useless and obvious argument ever . Of course there will be differences !!! Ever heard of creative freedom?

    Reply
  19. Vinicius Cabral Author

    In the book, IT's not female, but the closest thing on earth that the human brain can comprehend of It's "true" form is a giant pregnant spider. Itself is a completely abstract creature beyond human comprehension, the deadlights, the spider is just another form of It, also, the same way Pennywise is male, that spider is female, It changes form, but none of them is truly It.

    Reply
  20. Mariah Author

    So your just not gonna mention all the character changes done to Mike and the complete erasure of his parents and what actually happened at the Black Spot?!?!? Mike Hanlon deserved better (though both actors did great jobs)

    Reply
  21. Buchi Chu Author

    All that shit with the tokens was stupid as hell. It turned the whole second half into flashbacks (aka the first movie) and a bunch of videogame sidequests. “‘everybody split up so we can turn this into a Freddy movie with a cool nightmare+flashback sequence per character. That’ll take up two hours before it’s all rendered moot in the last 15 minutes!”
    What a disappointment.

    Reply
  22. Daniel Reilly Author

    I disagree with you saying the 2nd movie was a centred on the adults because the kids where in it just as much and too much flashbacks if you ask me.

    Reply
  23. TsukiKageTora Author

    Fun fact I read than Stephen King thought it was genius that they made Richie struggling with his sexuality. May be wrong but it may not. I think it would be amazing if the author thought a change of the story when it became a movie. They should feel proud to get such praise from the author.

    Reply
  24. Whirty Author

    The book doesn't say IT is female, IT doesn't have a sex. IT just is. The pregnant "spider" form isn't even IT's true form for starter. It's the closest thing humans minds can comprehend.

    Reply
  25. Keshia Anders Author

    "Carved their initials"
    Eddie's initials are E. K., and Richie's initials are R.T.;

    That one heart says "R.R + S.J.", that's clearly not Richie's doing.

    Reply
  26. Heather Venneri Author

    It has been awhile since I read the book but I swear Bill & Mike were the last two in the clubhouse while they tried the Native American ritual. It was Bill who 'talks' to the turtle..

    Reply
  27. P.T. B. Author

    Years ago, I started the book,
    but never finished it, it was a page
    turner though. Having said that, I
    grew up with the mini series and until my mid teens, it scared the tar out of me! So when I heard
    about the remake or theatrical
    version, I was intrigued to say the
    least. Chapter 1 even with being
    modernized, worked better than I
    expected: even the projector scene was a good substitute for the photo album scene in the TV
    movie in 1990 – almost every
    change has worked pretty well…
    so far. Chapter 2 looks epically
    phenomenal to me, but I'll still wait
    for home media for personal reasons. I'll probably bite the bullet
    per se, skip the renting and just buy it, if I know me.

    Reply
  28. 2004mojo Author

    The book. No matter which one -the book. Funny thing is some of King's books scared me so much I could only read them in the daytime at work. But I think I'm the minority for loving the tv versions of "It', "Salem's Lot" & "The Stand".

    Reply
  29. jamil ahmed Author

    Billy you remember how I took your Georgie and I still do it now with all the kids I meet so now be a hero and I will let them go just take my red balloon 🎈 and together we will…FLOAT!

    Reply
  30. Nick Fensome Author

    It, s true form in the book is that of a giant pregnant spider but movies change things the original with Tim Burton is pretty close to the book

    Reply
  31. KingWaffleCat Author

    now, i haven't seen this video yet, but im going to go out on a limb here, and say its because filming stuff like whats in the book breaks several federal laws

    Reply
  32. E c h o Author

    Pretty sure if It had a gender it would be called Him or Her instead of It. It's not a human. It's a cosmic force from outer space. Idk why that's so hard to comprehend. People are so narrow-minded.

    Reply

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