Getting the endorsement of the reigning King of Horror when you're adapting one of his most important books is not something to take lightly.
In this case, we're talking about It, Stephen King's 1,000-plus-page epic about a band of friends who battle a hideous evil both as children and adults in the small Maine town of Derry. Director Andrés Muschietti has been filming the first of a proposed two-part version of the tale, with Part 1 due out this fall.
Photos of the child actors playing the younger versions of the so-called Losers Club have been generally met with approval, but images of It's main personification as Pennywise the Clown have received a less favorable reception. Still, none of that really matters until it's seen in the context of the film, and the good news is that King has done just that. Here's a message posted on Instagram by producer Seth Grahame-Smith:
Now, there are a couple of caveats about this. First, as Slashfilm points out, it's not a direct quote from King and it was posted by one of the producers that the author allegedly praised. It's also a somewhat muted comment: "they should stop worrying about it" does not quite have the same impact as "the filmmakers have made the most terrifying version of my book that I could ever hope for." At the same time, King would certainly do himself, the film and the studio no favors by saying, "Man, they took my masterpiece and s**t the bed with it."
King hasn't been shy in the past about saying just that about past adaptations, most famously in regards to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining (on which King's view was distinctly in the minority), but also when it has come to any of the other myriad movies and TV shows made from his work. Much of the time, however, he's just preferred to remain silent and let the filmmakers do their thing -- after all, as he said many times, the book is still right there on the shelf.
So let's take King's message as a sign that the film version of It -- which comes out September 8 -- is on the right track. Next I would like him to find out why we have yet to see a trailer for The Dark Tower with less than five months to go before its release -- but that's another story.