27 is a number which is often associated with this story. This film was released 27 years after the original 1990 television mini-series. In the book, it is mentioned that "It" returns to Derry approximately every 27 years. Jonathan Brandis, who played young Bill in the original film, died at 27 years old. This movie was released one month after Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise) 27th birthday. The official US release date is 9/8/2017. 9+8+2+0+1+7 = 27.
Around the time of theatrical release of this film, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, there was a prank that involved a series of red balloons tied to sewer grates throughout the town mimicking one of the book covers of the "It" novel. The prank had frightened the citizens, including the Lititz police force.
Although Bill Skarsgård was on set for the majority of production, he didn't actually begin filming his scenes until more than half of shooting was complete. The time before he actually started filming was spent working with Andrés Muschietti and the producers in order to perfect his mannerisms as Pennywise, as Skarsgård stated that he felt an immense amount of pressure to play the role perfectly due to Tim Curry's well-regarded performance in It (1990).
Director Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgård separate from the child actors up until they had to shoot scenes together. On the day of their first scenes together, the production staff warned the kids about how scary Skarsgård could be while in character. The kids brushed this off, claiming that they knew he was just an actor in a costume and that they were professionals and would be fine. However, when the time came for Skarsgård to be Pennywise for the scene, the kids were genuinely terrified.
About six months before the film was released, Stephen King (the author of the original novel) was shown a screening. Afterwards, he said that the film exceeded his expectations and that the producers had done "a wonderful job."
The outside wall of the butcher shop has a large mural on the side of it commemorating the shootout and murder of the Bradley gang in 1929. This is taken directly from the book and is mentioned by Ben in his recollection of the past violence that has happened in Derry. In the book, the townspeople of Derry ambush a gang of bank robbers coming to purchase ammo in their town and massacre them in a blaze of crossfire.
When Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is in the library, he looks out the window and sees 4 of the Losers ride by on their bikes. You can hear Bill scream "Hiyo Silver, AWAY!", which is a nod to the original novel.
When Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard) is in the "clown room," there is a mannequin dressed as the 1990 mini-series version of Pennywise the Clown, played by Tim Curry, sitting on the floor (left side of the screen).
Pennywise's costume in the film is much more faithful to the description in the novel, in comparison to the Tim Curry costume in the 1990 TV Mini-Series, including his orange hair, and the orange pom poms going down his silver suit.
A popular fan idea for this film is to have the child actors from the original film return to play the adult roles. However, Bill would have to be recast due to the death of Jonathan Brandis. Marlon Taylor and Jarred Blancard, who played the roles of Mike and Henry, have both said that if they were offered the chance to reprise their roles, they would accept.
At the request of director Andy Muschietti, Bill Skarsgård did not meet any of the teenage actors until he showed up on set to film the first encounter between the Losers Club and Pennywise. This was done specifically to make sure the young actors would be scared of Pennywise during filming, and according to interviews given by Muschietti, the strategy paid off.
Bill Skarsgård has described Pennywise as being "such an extreme character. Inhumane." He added, "It's beyond even a sociopath, because he's not even human. He's not even a clown. I'm playing just one of the beings that It creates. It truly enjoys taking the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt." Skarsgård elaborated on his connection to the children, saying, "There's a childishness to the character, because he's so closely linked to the kids. The clown is a manifestation of the children's imaginations, so there's something child-like about that."
Hugo Weaving and Bill Skarsgård were the two finalists for the role of Pennywise after Will Poulter left the project. Skarsgård eventually got the role, reportedly due to his ability to play a more fun and child-like Pennywise, in addition to a creepy Pennywise, while Weaving reportedly fell short in playfulness and could only play creepy.
There were rumors at one point that Bill Skarsgård would not be returning to play Pennywise in the second film due to concerns that the role was negatively affecting his mental health. However, a week before the film was released, Skarsgård confirmed that he was officially attached to the sequel and had already began meeting with director Andy Muschietti to discuss ideas for the character and the film.
Andy Muschietti kept Bill Skarsgård isolated from the rest of the cast/crew during the beginning of filming, the exception being a three person costume/makeup team. This was to make sure Skarsgård's performance was shocking to the other actors, as well as to avoid leaked photos. Although Skarsgård thought this was a good strategy, he admitted that he felt very lonely during this time, and was sad that he couldn't bond with the rest of the people involved, something he says is one of his favorite parts of making a movie. These feelings were intensified when he heard about how much fun everyone else was having without him and how they all called it one of the best projects they'd ever worked on.
While Bill Skarsgård declared himself a huge fan of Tim Curry in general and Curry's specific performance as Pennywise in the TV version of It (1990), he also said that he did not try to incorporate any of Curry's work into his own portrayal of Pennywise, because he felt that he could not "do Tim Curry anywhere near as well as Curry himself did" and he did not want his performance to echo this and become a distraction.
Though CGI was used in some scenes, Bill Skarsgård was actually able to move his eyes in different directions in some scenes at the behest of Andy Muschietti. At first, it was uncertain if he was able to achieve this effect on his own, yet Skarsgård assures, "I can do that." The purpose of this was to add to an already unsettling and disturbing look to Pennywise.
When the film was released in Germany and on the hills of the bizarre controversy in Russia, Burger King Deutschland took it upon themselves to tease their rival, McDonalds, by giving an impromptu message at the end of the film that reads, "The moral is: Never trust a clown" which is accompanied by the Burger King logo. The audience were left bewildered and amused. It was joked that the film became the longest Burger King ad ever.
In Stephen King's novel, the Losers Club must face Pennywise first as children, then decades later as adults. This film only tells of their encounter with it as children. The sequel, which tells the story of the Losers Club as adults, is set to be released September 6, 2019.
During early stages of production, Chloë Grace Moretz was strongly considered for the role of Beverly. However, due to the time the project spent in development hell, casting did not begin until Moretz was 19. She was deemed too old for the role, and Sophia Lillis was cast instead. Coincidentally, Moretz starred in Carrie (2013), another Stephen King adaption.
In the novel, Ben Hanscom invented "beep beep, Richie" whenever they need him to shut up. This is not used by the Losers Club in the movie as they only tell him to "shut up." "Beep beep, Richie" is used by Pennywise in the movie, as a way to taunt Richie.
Bill Skarsgård was the fourth actor offered the role of Pennywise. Tim Curry was offered the chance to reprise the role during early development, but turned it down. Ben Mendelsohn was also offered the role, and was interested, but turned it down when he could not agree with the studio on his salary. Will Poulter was then offered the role and accepted, but scheduling conflicts forced him to drop out after production delays pushed filming back a year. Skarsgård was then given the role.
When Stanley is closing the book after struggling with his Bar-Mitzva speech, the title is seen upside down. This could be a simple mistake, a hint that he is too troubled to practice, or he isn't interested in religion much to the implied disappointment of his father. The book is the Pentateuch (The Torah).
Bill Skarsgård celebrated his 26th birthday shortly before he began filming his scenes. To celebrate, director Andy Muschietti posted a picture of himself wearing a Pennywise mask, giving Skarsgård the finger, on his Instagram account.
Two days before the movie started filming, director Andy Muschietti posted a picture on his Instagram account of his office filled with balloons, a way of letting fans know that pre-production had ended for the film.
This marks the second time that a character played by Finn Wolfhard stands on the edge of a quarry and is about to jump down. The first time was in Stranger Things (2016), where his character was threatened by school-bullies to jump down.
The opening scene with Georgie takes place in October of 1988. Donnie Darko (2001) also takes place in October of 1988. In an early scene in Donnie Darko (2001), Donnie's Mom is seen reading the novel "It."
Contrary to the novel, in which the children's journey with Pennywise begins in 1958, the movie will begin to follow the Losers Club from around 1989 (four years after the final encounter between the club and Pennywise in the novel) and supposedly with the second clash in the mid-2010s.
A few weeks after the release of this film, in Moscow, Burger King Russia had filed a complaint against their long time rival, McDonalds, in wanting the film to be banned, citing that their mascot, Ronald McDonald, supposedly looks similar to Pennywise.
Warner Bros. had started an Oscar campaign in November of 2017, a few months after the release and subsequent success of the film. The categories include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Sophia Lillis, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score. Concerning the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, it's speculated if any of the seven main actors, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jaeden Lieberher, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, and Bill Skarsgård would be campaigned for those categories.
As the losers club approaches Pennywise's front porch to fight him, the yard's open iron front gate can be seen from the back. It holds the number "29", which mirrored resemble the letters "e" and "s" - "es" is the german word for "it".
The trailer for this film enraged real-life professional clowns, who stated that the Pennywise character will encourage people to think of clowns as scary and murderous (though the filmmakers and actors have said, clearly, that Pennywise is not a clown at all, but a representation of "It"'s pure evil, who takes on the form out of a mix of sadism and childishness). Rallies to defend the good name in general of clowns in the U.S. were planned following the month It (2017) was released in theaters.
Belch Huggins (Jake Sim) wears a shirt featuring the band Anthrax, with the phrase "Follow me or die" on the back. This is a lyric from Anthrax's song "Among the Living," which the band wrote about another Stephen King book, "The Stand."
According to Andy Muschietti and Bill Skarsgård, there are several scenes of additional footage that were shot but didn't make it into the theatrical cut. For the home video releases, a Director's Cut will be released with the additional footage.
Despite Nicholas Hamilton (Henry Bowers), Logan Thompson (Victor Criss) Jake Sim (Belch Huggins) and Owen Teague (Patrick Hocksetter) having to constantly bully their co stars on set, off set they all hung out and would constantly pal around. All of the teenage cast said that they have became the very best of friends during filming.
The town of Derry, Maine was set in Port Hope, Canada which, as of April 2017, was the location of Turtle John's restaurant. The Turtle features heavily within the novel "It" and "The Dark Tower" series, also written by Stephen King. Across the way from Turtle John's is Beamish House and twelve beams link and hold together The Dark Tower and the Stephen King universe.
Cary Fukunaga was set to direct, but dropped out after years of pre-production due to a difference in artistic vision and, in consequence, what the intended MPAA rating was intended to be. The studio wanted to aim at a more commercially viable film, while Fukunaga wanted something closer to The Shining (1980) in tone and style. Andy Muschietti took over as director and filming began in the summer of 2016.
Coincidentally, the two actors who portrayed Pennywise, Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård, each have green eyes. Though Skarsgård's natural green eyes are never shown in this film, in the It (1990) miniseries, there are some scenes where you can see Curry's natural green eyes. Most notably in the iconic scene where he's luring Georgie.
Both actors cast as Pennywise were significantly younger and taller than Tim Curry was when he played the role in It (1990). Curry was 44 and 5'9, Will Poulter was 22 and 6'2 when he was cast, and Bill Skarsgård was 25 and 6'4.
This film marks the second time a European actor portraying Pennywise. Tim Curry, who is British, portrayed the character in the 90s miniseries and Bill Skarsgård, who is Swedish, portrayed the character in this film.
In the scene where the boys watch Beverly sunbathe, the 1989 hit "Bust a Move" by Young M.C. is playing on the radio. The song is advice to a young man about how to approach a female while keeping your cool... which, since first meeting Beverly, is what Ben had trouble doing.
To coincide with the film, Warner Bros. had released a virtual reality tie-in game called "It: Escape from Pennywise". It takes the player to the Neibolt house where they have to choose any of the three doors presented to the player to force the player to face their fears. The game is available on Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream.
After Cary Fukunaga dropped out, Andy Muschietti pitched a movie that would use most of the Fukunaga/Palmer script, but with more famous scenes from the book added. While Muschietti did most of the rewrite himself, the final version was touched up a little by Gary Dauberman to get the movie back on the original budget.
It's life essence is comprised of writhing bright orange lights called "Deadlights", a dangerous and eldritch form of energy, which is used as a dark magical weapon by another monstrous Stephen King villain known as the Crimson King.
The film has the biggest opening weekend in the supernatural horror genre, grossing $117,200,000, breaking the previous record set by Paranormal Activity 3 (2011). It made double in its opening weekend revenue.
IT (alongside Randall Flagg) is regarded as the most evil and popular of Stephen King's villains, and an immense icon in horror. In 2006, Wizard Magazine ranked IT the 15th greatest villain of all time.
A number of clowns have been spotted in various American states including Florida, New York, Wisconsin and Kentucky, and subsequently in other Western countries, from August 2016. By October 2016, in the wake of hundreds of "clown sightings" across the United States and Canada, the phenomenon had spread from North America to Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
Cary Fukunaga's script changed the names of several main characters: Bill Denbrough to Willy Denbrough, Henry Bowers to Travis Bowers, 'Belch' Huggins to 'Snatch' Huggins, Patrick Hockstetter to Patrick Hockstettler, Will Hanlon to Leroy Hanlon and Greta Bowie to Gretta Bowie. Though most have been changed back by Andy Muschietti, the changes to 'Leroy' and 'Gretta' remain.
Due to the town being called "Derry", a name similar to the city in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland, the country had its own premiere of the film there. Before the movie began, there was special video from the child actors greeting the Derry audience.
It apparently originated in a void containing and surrounding the Universe, a place referred to in the novel as the "Macroverse" (a concept similar to the later established "Todash Darkness" of the Dark Tower novels).
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is one of the main films referenced in this film. Before the script for Nightmare 5 was written and shot, Stephen King, who wrote the "It" novel on which this film and the 90s miniseries was based was approached by New Line to write the screenplay but declined. The task was then offered to Frank Miller who also declined.
Wyatt Oleff and Jack Dylan Grazer originally auditioned for the role of Bill Denbrough. Yet, they ended up getting the roles of Stanley Uris and Eddie Kaspbrak, respectively. And Jaeden Lieberher originally auditioned for the role of Eddie Kaspbrak, yet ended up getting the role of Bill Denbrough.
To coincide with the 1989 primary setting, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) is featured on the movie marquee. Both It (2017) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) deal with a demonic child murderer with the ability to warp reality, shapeshifts in accordance to one's fears, takes the guise of lost loved ones, and preys on high school students. Director Andy Muschietti also revealed in an interview that a Freddy Krueger form was considered as a fear for one of the Losers Club members and one Pennywise would assume. However, it was ultimately scrapped out of not feeling right and wanting stick to the trauma and childhood fears without straying too meta.
When Beverly distracts Mr. Keene to help the boys steal some medical supplies, she mentions that Mr. Keene looks like Clark Kent and when she tries on his glasses, he says that she looks like Lois Lane, this could be a nod to their 1990 counterpart actors Tom Heaton and Annette O'Toole, Annette (The grown up Beverly Marsh in the 1990 film) played Martha Kent in Smallville, as Heaton (Mr. Keene from Part 2 of the 1990 film) appeared in an episode of Smallville titled Relic as Dexter "Dex" McCallum
Stephen King based parts of the fictional town of Derry on real locations in Maine. The Derry standpipe, which plays an important part in the novel, is based on the Thomas Hill Standpipe in Bangor. While not being an integral part of the movie, the postcard Ben writes to Beverly features the actual Thomas Hill Standpipe. There is also a shot in the movie of Bill in front of the real Thomas Hill Standpipe.
After the "Rock Fight", when the losers are walking, a train can be seen in the background. One of the freight cars has a logo of Canadian Tire, a Canadian hardware store. The film was shot in Ontario, Canada.
The song 'You Got It (The Right Stuff)' by New Kids on the Block, which is referenced twice in the movie, was released as a single in the US in November 1988. The movie starts in October 1988 and then jumps to the summer of 1989.
When Beverly is sitting in the school's bathroom, being bullied by other students. "Hate Clown" is written on the bathroom stall, in black. Beverly is holding a black marker, suggesting she might've written it.
In the aerial view of Derry town center (Port Hope, Ontario, Canada), the red brick building on the left, that is revealed behind trees, has a CG replacement of its central area by a weathered "DERRY" signage of some sort. In real life there is no "DERRY" signage, but a blank red brick area with four windows which are not seen on the movie building.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
According to Bill Skarsgård, there was an unnerving deleted scene that involves Pennywise terrorizing a young mother in the 17th century. He states, "There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise]. The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I'm not the clown. I look more like myself." He goes on to say, "It's very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from." Timothy Simons, who auditioned for the role of Pennywise, confirmed this a few weeks after Skarsgård's revelation in an interview on a podcast. Simons states that he read in the script that the scene requires the character to threaten to kill a young woman and her entire family if she doesn't hand over her baby for feasting. He says, "It was [Pennywise] way back at the beginning of Derry, convincing a woman to give him her baby to eat. It was scary. The thing that was scariest about it was that it was very direct. It was, 'If you don't do this, these are the things that I'm going to do'. And they were all terrible'." Interestingly, one of the podcast's hosts, Bryan Safi, had also auditioned for the role of Pennywise and has stated that he still has a copy of the script in which a similar scene is present. The scene is one of the several scenes shot, yet ultimately not used in the film. It remains to be seen if the scene will show up on home video releases or in the sequel.
The end of the novel leaves the fate of Pennywise ambiguous, and even the first line of the story hints that he may still be alive. However, author Stephen King has sworn to never write about Pennywise again, claiming that the character is too scary, even for him.
Director Andy Muschietti confirmed that many of "It's" forms, such as the werewolf and mummy, will be cut and replaced with new forms. He said that this is to make the terrors surprising, even for those who have read the book
When Andy Muschietti initially signed on to direct, the studio had wanted him to use exactly the same script that Cary Fukunaga had planned on using, with the only edits being the omission of the more controversial scenes that would've earned the film an NC-17 rating (such as Henry Bowers having sex with a sheep and ejaculating on a birthday cake, or Beverly's father attempting to rape her). Muschietti loved the structure and human drama of Fukunaga's version, but requested that he be allowed to slightly edit the script to make it more faithful to the novel, which the studio chose to allow. These changes included putting in the Leper and Bill's stutter, elements from the novel which Fukunaga had cut, as well as changing names back to their original novel forms (Will to Bill, Travis to Henry, Snatch to Belch, etc.) and changing the firework fight back to the "Apocalyptic Rock Fight." Muschietti also planned on including the "Smokehole" scene in which Richie and Mike use a Native American tradition to have a vision which details how It arrived on Earth millions of years ago. Due to the extensive CGI needed for this scene, it was deemed too expensive for the film and Muschietti was forced to cut it from the script.
In the scene where Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is reading about the Easter explosion in the library, an old woman can be seen in the background turning toward him and staring while smiling widely. This could potentially be It, watching Ben's fear as he sees the little boy's decapitated head in the book.
The new film adaptations will feature the more disturbing aspects of the novel that the original TV mini series was not able to touch upon. Some of these include the more extreme acts of violence committed by Pennywise and the bullies, as well as the dark sexual undertones present throughout the novel (Eddie Kaspbrak's encounter with the Leper, the relationship between Henry Bowers and Patrick Hockstetter, etc). Fortunately, the infamous child orgy scene from the novel was excluded from this film.
Some of the more graphic parts of the children in the book were left out of the movie, including Patrick giving Henry a handjob, Patrick suffocating his infant brother, Bev continuously being beaten by her father, and the infamous orgy scene with Bev in the sewer.
The "Slideshow" scene where Pennywise slowly reveals himself through rapidly projecting slides is a nod to another Stephen King story, "The Sun Dog." In it, a mangy, but increasingly aggressive dog is revealed through a series of Polaroid photos before leaping out and attacking the story's protagonists. Pennywise too jumps out of the film, haunched and barking like a dog before attacking.
There was an alternate version of the confrontation scene between The Losers and Pennywise towards the ending. According to Jaeden Lieberher (Bill), the scene involves Bill climbing up the tower of Pennywise's victims' belongings and almost dying after a confrontation with Pennywise. He states, "I did have this scene where I climb up a tower at the end. When I'm chasing after Georgie, I climb the tower and I'm at a one-on-one confrontation with Pennywise and then I say that I'm not afraid of him, that none of the Losers are afraid of him, and that's how we beat him. But they took those lines and put [them] toward the end, right after our big fight. So I had this whole thing where Bill Skarsgård is grabbing me and pushing me off the ledge, and I had to wear this harness. That was a more difficult scene." He says that this is one of his favorite scenes he had shot.
During the fight between The Losers Club and Pennywise at the climax, at one point, Pennywise morphs into Beverly's father to which Beverly responded by shoving a crowbar through his mouth. In A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), during the scene where Alice confronts Freddy in a dream in which he has Yvonne hostage, similar to what Beverly had done to Pennywise in this film, she shoves the tail end of a pool skimmer through Freddy's mouth. Notably, the film has been referenced a few times in this film, most notably in the scene where it's shown to be one of the movies playing at the local Derry movie theater. The scene involving Alice can be briefly seen during the opening of Freddy vs. Jason (2003) along with other clips from the A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) film series.
Though director Andy Muschietti loved her audition, Sophia Lillis almost didn't get the role of Beverly Marsh. This was due to being told by producers that she "wasn't girly enough". She flew to Toronto, Canada and auditioned again, while wearing hair extensions and a dress this time. She got the role on the condition that she keeps the hair extensions in. However, when filming began, Muschietti had her to cut off the extensions in her first bathroom scene.
Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti fought hard (with help from the producers) to put more scenes from the novel back into the story. The Smoke-Hole scene was demanded but the studio deemed it too expensive. Andy was able to put most scenes he requested back into his adaptation, such as Eddie's encounter with the Leper.
Stan's (Wyatt Oleff) first encounter with It comes in the form of a painting in a style much like that of Italian painter, Amedeo Modigliani, whose paintings were an inspiration in the design of "Mama" in the film Mama (2013), which was also directed by Andy Muschietti. This was also the scene that Stephen King said that actually terrified him.
All of the Losers (except Richie) have individual encounters with IT before they all enter the house on Neibolt St. Although most of the Losers' fears were changed for the film, Eddie's and Beverly's are the same as they are in the novel. While Eddie's is toned down, Beverly's is much more extreme.
The famous "smoke hole" scene explaining It's alien origin from the novel will be omitted from this adaptation due to budget constraints. Because of this, it's speculated that the climactic Ritual of Chüd from the novel will be omitted as well due to it's ties to the smoke hole scene. These two scenes were also missing from the 1990 TV mini-series.
Most adults are shown watching (or listening) a TV show where "the key word is 'clown' " and "all children should come to the sewers", those being: Eddie's mother, Bev's father, Henry's father... which suggests that IT is influencing the town using various ways from all day routine.
It's most true form is bright orange lights that exist in the macroverse called Dead Lights. Seeing these will cause any human to go insane. They make a brief appearance in the movie when Pennywise opens his mouth while holding onto Bev.
When Georgie loses the boat down the storm drain, he says "Bill's gonna kill me", in regards to his brother. When he meets Pennywise/It, Georgie is beckoned closer when Pennywise repeats his previously mentioned worry as "Bill's gonna kill ya" to try and get him to take the boat from him. At the end of the film, Pennywise appears to Bill as Georgie, leading to Bill shooting "Georgie" in the head. Coincidentally, the actor playing Pennywise is also named Bill, as in Bill Skarsgård. So you could say Georgie is killed by Bill twice in the film.
The film explains the It creatures' mantra of You'll Float Too, as in the climax of the film in the Derry sewers where the Losers defeat the entity, the dead children are seen floating around the sewer rubbish pile, a result of It's deadlights gaze, as Beverley too begins to float after being rendered catatonic by it's gaze.
Patrick Hockstetter's death and character is vastly changed from the Stephen King novel, in which his violent tendencies featured the murder of his infant brother by suffocation, a closeted homosexual act with Henry resulting him in the aftermath being beaten and threatened by Bowers, the murder of cats, dogs, and other animals which he deposited in a Derry quarry refrigerator left abandoned and his death by It being in the form of large flying leeches, which drill out portions of him, siphoning his blood. In the final version Patrick meets his demise as It in a sewer tunnel whilst he is searching separately from the other Bowers gang members for the injured Ben Hanscom, takes the initial visage of the dead children. It then appears Pennywise following the appearance of a I Heart Derry balloon and proceeds to devour him in the dead end of the tunnel.
Unlike the 1990 miniseries adaption the film features on-screen blood and gore, specifically in relation to the deaths of George Denborough (whose death was off-screen in the 1990 miniseries) and other victims including Betty Ripsom. The film also features Henry Bowers carving the beginning of his name into Ben Hanscom's stomach a scene begun but never finished out of omission in the original 1990 adaption.
The original novel portrayed "It" as manifesting in the forms of various classic Universal 1930s-1940s horror monsters, including Wolfman (though technically "It's" manifestation is of the shapeshifter from I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)), Frankenstein's Monster, Creature from the Black Lagoon's Gill-Man and the Mummy. All these forms are omitted from the film except for the Mummy, which is featured attacking Ben in the climax.
There are many references to the book: The wax that Bill uses on the paper boat being labeled 'Gulf Wax', the intersection where Georgie plays with his boat (Jackson/Witcham), Bill's 'Tracker Bros' T-shirt, Richie's 'Freese Department Store' T-shirt, the 'I Heart Derry' balloon, Bill's stutter chant, Bill's bike having 'Silver' written on the side, the Paul Bunyan statue, Eddie Corcoran's missing poster, the Standpipe on Beverly's post card, Georgie's Lego turtle, and the turtle in the quarry.
Belch Huggins and Victor Criss survive the film. In the original novel, they are both killed by the "Frankenstein" monster as they and Henry Bowers are chasing the Losers Club through the sewer tunnels.
Mike (Chosen Jacobs) encounters It in the form of his burning parents and other fire victims trying to escape from behind a padlocked door. This could also be considered an homage to the Black Spot club. In the novel, Mike's father tells him the story of the Black Spot fire, which was started by a racist group. This was also mentioned by Ben in the film while he was talking about his Derry research.
An homage to the werewolf form taken from the novel comes in the sequence of Pennywise advancing the Losers after initially attempting to eat Eddie. The clown's arm morphs into hairy extended werewolf like hands which can also be seen in the promos and trailers of the film.
The first one to die in the film is Georgie Denbrough (younger brother of Bill Denbrough), right after losing the paper boat. One of his last lines is "Bill is gonna kill me!" This could almost be considered an omen, since the actor who plays Pennywise (who eventually kills him) is played by Bill Skarsgård.
During the scene where Bill wakes up in bed due to the leaking water from the ceiling due to the rain, there is a drawing he made of Beverly sitting on his pillow, in which he used a red color pencil for her hair. The leaking water drops onto the sketch, making the red stencil look like blood. This foreshadows Beverly, after being abducted by Pennywise, waking up deep in the sewers due to blood dripping on her face in a similar fashion as Bill's rain-soaked sketch of her much later in the film.
80s references: During a moment toward the end where Pennywise rises up to loom over The Losers the movement of his body and arms is reminiscent of a scene from John Carpenter's The Thing. Writing over the 'S' in 'Loser' on his cast, Eddie draws a big red 'V' - an obvious reference to the cult sci-fi series. The scene toward the end where The Losers part ways in a series of fades suggests a reference to the final shot of River Phoenix's Chris Chambers at the end of Stand By Me