Stephen King’s IT: Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti Talk Hard R Rating

French magazine Mad Movies recently sat down with director Andy Muschietti and his sister, producer Barbara Muschietti, to talk about the very adult themes surrounding their upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s IT.

Thanks to Auguste Pagliaccio from Facebook group The Losers’ Club for the translation.

This is an R-rated movie. I’m very happy about that because it allows us to go into very adult themes,” said Muschietti. “Each ‘loser’ knows a situation of despair, on top of the terror of It and the fear of heights. Beverly’s case is, of course, the worst because it’s about sexual abuse on a minor. But each kid is neglected one way or the other. Bill is like a ghost in his own home: Nobody sees him because his parents can’t get over Georgie’s death. Of course, Ben is bullied at school. We don’t know much about Richie’s personality because he’s the big mouth of the group. But we suppose he’s also neglected at home, and he’s the clown of the band because he needs attention. Long story short, there’s all sorts of difficult situations, and we had the chance to tell them in a movie that faces directly those conflicts. In particular, the families of the young actors were very open-minded, so we could tell them about subjects that are normally very touchy.

He continued, “From our very first discussion with the people from New Line, it was understood that the movie was gonna be rated R. Of course it was already crazy that they started a story revolving around the death of children. But if you aimed for a PG-13 movie, you had nothing at the end. So we were very lucky that the producers didn’t try to stop us. In fact, it’s more our own moral compass that sometimes showed us that some things led us in places where we didn’t want to go.

IT producer Barbara Muschietti added, “To tell everything, you won’t find the scene where a kid has his back broken and is thrown in the toilets. We thought that the visual translation of that scene had something that was really too much. But for the rest, we removed nothing from our original vision, and we didn’t water down the violence of any event. We believe the fans will be thankful to us for keeping that aspect of the novel in the movie. Well, for now, none of the people who saw the screenings left the theater! I’ve got to say we escape a lot of objections thanks to the context of the story since it’s the kids’ fear that feed the monster.

Stephen King’s IT has been rated R for “violence/horror, bloody images, and for language.” Huzzah!

Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Nicholas Hamilton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, and Sophia Lillis star with Bill Skarsgard, who portrays Pennywise. In addition, creature performer Javier Botet has signed on as The Leper, and Owen Teague plays Patrick Hocksetter, part of a group of bullies who torment The Losers’ Club.

IT hits theaters on September 8th. Andrés Muschietti directs.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Chung-Hoon Chung (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), production designer Claude Paré (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), editor Jason Ballantine (The Great Gatsby), and costume designer Janie Bryant (“Mad Men”).

Synopsis:
When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

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Steve Barton

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