Poor Georgie Denbrough…
Every Stephen King fan knows the iconic cover for his 1986 novel It, featuring a little newspaper sailboat drifting down a rain-swollen gutter toward … something, reaching out from a storm drain.
In the opening scenes of the book, Georgie is the little boy in a yellow slicker who chases the boat he made with his brother as it leads him toward an unimaginable fate: A clown grinning at him from the sewers, beckoning him closer.
In the book, he promises Georgie a balloon.
“Do they float?” the boy asks the inexplicable clown smiling at him from the grate.
“They float,” it growled, “they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too–”
The first teaser poster for a new film version of King’s epic horror tale (out Sept. 8) evokes this same moment, although it does away with the newspaper sailboat. We see the back of Georgie’s slicker as he is lured toward the single red balloon held by Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
The face of Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård, is obscured and distorted by this bubble of scarlet, but if we look closer it’s easy to see the hungry grin of this creature, which takes the form of any number of creatures to elicit fear from its victims.
But first they have to get close enough for It to feed on those emotions.
The movie is only half of King’s story, focusing on a group of children in the town of Derry, who band together to fight the bloodthirsty force that lives in the tunnels beneath their streets. Bill Denbrough (played by Jaeden Lieberher of Midnight Special) is the leader of this group, known as The Losers.
He loves his friends, but he misses his brother, Georgie. He remembers their last afternoon together. They made a little paper boat…
But Bill didn’t go out in the rain with his little brother to sail it.
We’ll see more when the trailer for the film drops tomorrow.