Major Differences Between the Original IT Script & The Final Cut

Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, face their worst nightmare — an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.

IT

Photo: Warner Bros

The orginial script written by Cary Fukunaga and Chase Palmer’s for the Stephen King adaptation is so much darker than what made it to the big screen. Here are 8 major differences between the oringinal script and the final cut.

1. Name Changes & Character Traits

For unknown reasons the orginal script changed some of the names from the oringal Stephen King novel. Bill became Will and Henry Bowers became Travis Bowers. No other names were changed, but one essentail character trait was different. Bill didn’t have a stutter. It’s not exactly essential to the plot, but it’s one of his most defining characteristics.

2. More Parents

In the orignial script, Beverly’s mom is alive and well, but she doesn’t play a vital role in the movie. Will’s mom is also around, broken and withdrawn following the death of her youngest son, George. And, perhaps most importantly, Mike has two living parents. As in the novel, Mike’s father tells his son about his own encounter with Pennywise, making him the only adult to comprehend what’s really going on in Derry.

3. Homophobia galore

To keep it real with the novel, the oringal script was riddled with homophobia. IT feeds on the hatred and infects the citizens of the town so that they act on it. It’s not just the racism directed at Mike and his family, but also violent homophobia. The novel depicts a brutal hate crime in which Adrian Mellon, a gay man, is beaten nearly to death by a group of teens; Pennywise arrives to finish him off.

4. More Racism

Simular to what was listed above, racisim was a lot more present in the orignal script. In the film, Henry tells Mike to get out of his town. In the earlier script, Travis calls Mike the n-word, accuses him of stealing his knife, and brands him a “jungle monkey.” His father, Officer Bowers, is just as abhorrent, dragging Mike in for questioning after Patrick Hockstetter disappears. He repeatedly calls Mike “boy” and later refers to him as the “Negro boy.” By clearly underlining the deep-seated racism that infects Derry, the oringal provided a fuller portrait of Mike’s isolation — he’s not an outsider by choice.

5. A change in climax

In the oringal script Beverly is not the damsel in distress. Instead she goes along with the boys down to the lair to attempt to kill Pennywise before he can continue to terrize the city. The way the kids defeat Pennywise is pretty similar, though at one point, IT manifests as a tentacle monster.

6. A drastically different ending

As in the novel, Travis’s hair turns white after his encounter with IT. The film left Henry’s fate ambiguous — the fall should have killed him, but who knows — while the original script has Travis taken into custody for killing his father. As for the Losers Club, they still make their blood oath, but there’s no kiss between Will and Beverly. There is, however, a somewhat happier ending, in which they gather again to say goodbye to Will, who is going on vacation with his parents, seemingly less traumatized from George’s death. But the camera lingers on the scars on their hands — and a red balloon floats above them.

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