Pennywise by bluelephant is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Pennywise” by bluelephant is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By: Jacob Garcia Cortes, Reporter

Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel IT has undergone three vastly different adaptations while continuing to focus on the fear of its terrifying clown, Pennywise, who was inspired by true crime and societal fears. The clown became a symbol of childhood horrors come to life when he published the nearly one-thousand-page story. While it contains various themes of the paranormal, supernatural, and even science-fiction, the real-life inspiration that influenced King’s creation of Pennywise have remained the most horrific.

The novel was initially adapted into a made for television miniseries by Tommy Lee Wallace of Halloween: Season of The Witch . In 2017 and 2019, Andy Muschietti took on the task of adapting the novel once more for theatrical release. Both have found success among King fans, whether as a cult following in the case of Wallace’s miniseries or with critical acclaim like Muschietti’s. Staying true to the source material, both films follow the “Losers Club” as adults and children as they battle the evil clown known as Pennywise who is murdering children in the town of Derry, Maine.