Austin festival gets first look at movie version of It

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Feb 21, 2019, 3:00 PM EST (Updated)

Pennywise the clown struck terror into the heart of Texas over the weekend.

The South By Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival in the Texas capital of Austin got a first look on Saturday night (March 11) at the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel It, with director Andrés Muschietti bringing both the first teaser trailer and one full scene from the film.

Based on the two reports we saw from Bloody Disgusting and Ain't It Cool News, it seems that Muschietti may very well be on the right track with the film he's making now, the first of a proposed two-part adaptation of the book, about an evil entity that exists under the town of Derry, Maine, and preys on its children.

The trailer apparently opens with the classic scene from the beginning of the book in which young Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) makes a paper boat for his little brother Georgie, who runs outside in the rain to sail his boat down the rivulets of water running in the street. When his toy sails into a sewer, Georgie peers inside to see if he can retrieve it -- and is confronted with the terrifying sight of Pennywise the clown (Bill Skarsgard).

From there the trailer establishes that Derry is a town where more people go missing than usual, then introduces the seven children who make up the "Losers Club" as they realize they've all been seeing the clown as well. Next was a sequence in which the Losers Club is looking at pictures on a slide projector, with the pictures abruptly moving faster until the face of Pennywise was revealed in a shocking manner.

The teaser ends with Bill going down into his flooded basement and seeing the ghost of Georgie, who screams the story's unforgettable line, "We all float down here!" as Pennywise emerges from the water, the screen goes black and the word "It" fills the screen.

Muschietti then shared a brief scene in which the members of the Losers Club stand outside a standpipe entrance in the town's Barrens and debate whether to go in, before the discussion is interrupted by another member, Ben Hanscom, arriving and looking badly beaten up -- a scene taken directly from King's novel.

The teaser and short scene were reportedly effective enough to garner a more than enthusiastic response from the festival audience. Why is this big news? Simply because it's the first footage anyone has seen of the movie, which is based on one of King's best-known and most frightening novels. King himself tweeted his approval of a rough cut of the film just a few days ago, further evidence that It could be the adaptation fans are yearning for:

Hopefully the trailer that premiered at SXSW goes out far and wide soon enough. It, starring Skarsgard, Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Nicholas Hamilton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor, opens on September 8.