Grahame-Smith is producing this two-film adaptation of King’s epic 1986 novel about a shapeshifting evil that feeds off the fear of children—most often in the form of a bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise. Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) is directing and co-writing the first installment, which will focus solely on a group of kids who join forces to fight back against the malevolent force. A second film would pick up with the same characters as adults, returning home to discover It has resurrected.
The novel was previously adapted into an ABC miniseries in 1990, starring Tim Curry as the deranged, sharp-fanged clown (pictured above, floating).
“I think that if anything, [the new film] will bring back some of the viciousness of the book that they couldn’t do with the miniseries because it was for broadcast,” Grahame-Smith says. “I think it’s going to be very scary, but I also feel like you’ve got Cary who is going to direct these kids—and he’s incredible at casting, incredible at shooting. He’s incredible with tone and atmosphere. One of the things I wanted to do is be a part of one of the really good King adaptations. As we know, there is an echelon of King adaptations that are classics. There are some that are okay. There are some that we’d rather forget.”
Status: “We’re going to get a draft, what is supposed to be the shooting [script], any day now from Cary and his writing partner,” Grahame-Smith says. “We’re doing a deal for them to write the second movie. Our hope is to prep sometime in the next few months and shoot in the summer. That one is as much on the runway as we can possibly be. I know New Line is ready to go.”
THE THINGS THEY LEFT BEHIND
Grahame-Smith is writing another adaptation of a King story, a TV series based on this short story about a World Trade Center worker who evades the 9/11 terror attacks only to find relics of his friends and colleagues mysteriously appearing in his home. The TV drama, which Grahame-Smith will co-produce with Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), drops the 9/11 element and instead has the hero discovering random objects from people who died before their time, leaving unfinished business for him to help resolve.
Status: “I thought this could be a really cool X-Files, Stephen King-centric procedural show,” Grahame-Smith says. “We sold it to CBS. I just finished the first draft of the script and I’m doing notes now. Hopefully we get to make the pilot in the spring. Then, hopefully we get ordered to series and get to be on CBS next fall.”