If you read Geeks of Doom often, you know I just can’t stand movies that simply need to be rated R based on their source material or previous films, but decided to water it down in the name of making more money with a larger PG-13 audience. It’s something that gets under my skin in ways that are challenging to define, and until I see an example of it working, I’ll continue on this path.
Thankfully, not everyone is so sick in the head that they need to resort to such blasphemies in order to find success. The man directing the theatrical reboot of Stephen King‘s It, Dave Kajganich, wrote in to Dread Central and gave an update on the project; and thankfully, he explained his desire to be faithful to King’s book as well as maintain its R-rated material.
Unfortunately, as we all know, the book is a true giant in size, which means that many things will still be lost along the way. Still, this should please many fans of the novel who hated the 1990 ABC mini-series adaptation. I’ve only ever known the mini-series and love that well-enough, but I’m definitely excited to see a more true-to-source movie.
Here’s the full statement from Kajganich:
The remake will be set in the mid-1980s and in the present almost equally — mirroring the twenty-odd-year gap King uses in the book — and with a *great* deal of care and attention paid to the backstories of all the characters. I think the real twist here is that my pitch to WB — which they’ve assured me they’re on board for — is that this will not be PG-13. This will be R. Which means we can really honor the book and engage with the traumas (both the paranormal ones and those they deal with at home and school) that these character endure.
I plan to be very protective of the book. The reality, though, is that WB wants to do this as a single film, so I will have to kill a few darlings to make that happen. You have my promise, though, that I will do this with the utmost humility and respect for King’s work. He’s the King, after all, and I intend to continue to pledge to him my allegiance.
Many brownie points accumulated by this new director for that. Let’s just hope he’s able to keep it that way and none of the higher-ups lay down their law.
This story doesn’t help with the whole Terminator Salvation fiasco. Both of these film’s are from Warner Brothers, and it’s going to be A LOT easier for Terminator to find box office success, so why be fine with It going R, but be stern about Terminator having a PG-13? If you missed it yesterday, the Terminator Salvation Pizza Hut website had Terminator Salvation marked with a PG-13 rating even though no announcement had been made. We didn’t cover the story because the movie’s official website and two TV spots all had the movie still as yet to be rated. Because of this, I’m still hanging on to desperate hope that maybe Pizza Hut just got a little ahead of themselves, but it’s not a good sign!
After Watchmen, Warner Bros. became the coolest studio of the lot, showing that they’re willing to do what needs to be done in order to get the highest-quality final product. I have nothing but the highest hopes that they’ll continue along these lines with both It and Terminator.