In terms of film adaptations, ‘IT’ is a relatively faithful adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel. However, there are a few deviations. Some characters have been slightly changed, and others have a different plot. Also, as I have started writing this article when I have not finished reading the novel yet, it may be expanded and modified as I get closer to the end of the book. This blog, therefore, contains a spoiler for both the book and the adaptation of it from 2017. If you have not seen the film or read the book, I recommend not to continue reading!
Similarities Between the Novel and the 2017 Adaptation
#1. Both the novel and the 2017 film begin with Pennywise’s attack on Georgie when the little boy tries to grab his boat, made by Bill, from the bottom of the sewer.
#2. In both the novel and the 2017 film, Georgie has to go get the paraffin from her garage. This is when he thinks he sees how Pennywise the clown appears to him for the first time.
#3. The conversation between Pennywise and Georgie and the poem that Ben sends to Beverly is identical in both the movie and the book.
#4. In both the 2017 film and the novel, Beverly Marsh/Rogan hides the poetry she receives without much success in her underwear drawer so that her father does not discover it.
#5. In both the novel and the film, Bill Denbrough ‘the pie’ ends up emerging as the losers’ club leader.
#6. In both the novel and the 2017 film, Beverly Marsh/Rogan’s father abuses her physically and psychologically. Furthermore, neither in the novel nor in either of the two film adaptations of the book, Beverly’s father sees the blood in the bathroom.
#7. In the 2017 adaptation, Beverly in the novel, after hearing voices in the sink, puts a tape measure through it to check how deep it is and how far it goes.
#8. Yes, we are shown both in the film and in the novel that Beverly Marsh/Rogan is continually hated and teased by her schoolmate Greta.
#9. The bullies on the kissing bridge remove Ben Hanscom’s shirt in both the 2017 film and the novel so that Henry Bowers will write his name on his belly with a knife.
#10. In the novel and the 2017 adaptation of it, all the children help Beverly clean the blood bathroom.
#11. In film and novel, school bully Henry Bowers murders his crazy drunken father in the same way and with the same razor.
#12. Bill has a conversation with his father, while the latter works in his garage, about the sewers in Derry. This conversation occurs in both the novel and the 2017 film.
#13. In both the 2017 film and the novel, we are shown how Eddie eventually discovers that he has been duped. Instead of taking actual medication as he initially thought, what he takes are placebos that do not affect him other than to calm his anxiety.
#14. At both the end of the novel and the end of the 2017 film, the clown Pennywise appears to Bill in the form of the one-armed ghost of his brother Georgie. A ghost who fails to fool Bill and is defeated.
#15. All the characteristic features of the members of the losers’ club have been respected in the film.
Now, Let’s Talk About the Characters:
- Bill Denbrough is the one who unwittingly ends up falling in love with Beverly at the same time that he stands as the leader of the group and the backbone of it both in the book and in the film. In addition, Bill will have the fastest bicycle in the group, which he will call ‘Silver’ and shown to us several times during the film.
- Richie Tozier, in the film, is the humorist and voice imitator described in the novel.
- Ben Hanscom is the chubby, intelligent, shy and book-loving Derry library in the film and Stephen King’s work. In the movie, we are also shown that Ben is the one who writes and sends poetry to Beverly and that he is also a good builder of structures.
- Beverly Marsh/Rogan, in both the film and the novel, is shown to be red-headed, spunky and ‘attractive’ in the eyes of any child in her school.
- Eddie Kaspbrak is also shown in the film as a faithful reflection of what King portrayed in the novel. An asthmatic boy, overprotected by his mother.
- Mike Hanlon – As we are told in the novel, is the young coloured boy who joins the losers’ club last after the club has defended him from the school bullies in a rock-throwing battle.
- Stan Uris is a Jewish member of the group skilled with numbers and economics.
Stay tuned for the second part of this article for all the significant differences between the novel and the 2017 adaptation!