'It' Trailer: Pennywise the Clown Is on the Hunt in the Stephen King Adaptation

Stephen King’s It remains one of the prolific author’s masterworks, an 1,138-page horror show about a group of young kids who, in 1950s Maine, are forced to contend with a malevolent clown named Pennywise and then must finish the job when he reappears in town years later. The novel was turned into a TV miniseries in 1990 that was altogether underwhelming, save for Tim Curry’s peerless portrayal of Pennywise, a bloodthirsty Bozo who lives in the sewers. But this September, a long-in-the-works new movie version of this classic tale of childhood fears and friendship will arrive courtesy of Mama director Andrés Muschietti — and its debut trailer promises a coming-of-age saga of truly nightmarish proportions, thanks to Bill Skarsgård’s sinister clown. Check it out above.

Although King’s novel recounts both its past and present narratives, Muschietti’s film will only concern the kidcentric portion of It, presumably leaving the grown-up action for a possible sequel. In its first promo, we’re introduced to brothers Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) Denbrough, the latter of whom loses his paper boat down a Derry, Maine, sewer grate where Pennywise lurks. From there, we get a series of ominous snapshots of floating balloons, blood-spurting sinks, and creepy houses, as well as a sequence in which the Loser’s Club — the collection of outcast adolescents who band together to confront this threat after Georgie’s disappearance — have their clubhouse slideshow chillingly interrupted by the image of the monstrous clown.

In a tweet earlier this month, King himself enthusiastically endorsed Muschietti’s version — a clear attempt to assure fans who feared the novel might not get its proper cinematic due:

If King’s seal of approval didn’t persuade fans, this first look at the movie should. It provides only a few fleeting shots of its signature villain — the last coming after Georgie’s spirit appears to tell Bill that if he joins him in the dark, he’ll float too. With a cast that includes Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things (which is apt, given how heavily indebted that Netflix show is to the novel), It looks as if it will deliver some serious night terrors when it debuts on Sept. 8.

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