The former is, of course, the Netflix original that took the world by storm in 2016, before delivering a competent, if bloated second season late last year. But if there’s one screen monster that dominated the tail-end of 2017, it’s Pennywise. Brought to life via Bill Skarsgård’s spine-chilling performance, the ancient, shape-shifting entity scared up a record haul at the worldwide box office. And launched a million nightmares in the process.
But that narrative crux, one which sees a group of wise-beyond-their-years kids battle a monster, also underpins the story of Stranger Things, and that’s a similarity that Stephen King addressed in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
I think one of the things that really happened was that 1990 miniseries. A whole generation of kids between the ages of 8 and 14 were scared shitless by Tim Curry and when the new one came out it was a chance to revisit that particular experience in their childhood. Then there was this weird viral bulge in stories about creepy clowns. That was in the press all over the place. So it was a number of different things. It was the right movie at the right time.
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Going one step further, King believes New Line’s horror reboot owes a great debt to Stranger Things in the sense that the Netflix phenom rekindled that appetite for ’80s-inspired science fiction.
I think that Stranger Things might’ve had something to do with it, but that’s kind of an incestuous thing because so much of Stranger Things reminds me of stuff that I’ve written. But I think that played a part. Obviously, the idea of a bunch of kids fighting a supernatural terror just sort of appealed to people, and they saw a chance to root for the good guys, which doesn’t always happen in horror movies.
And it won’t be too long before Netflix beckons its subscribers back to Hawkins. Yes, a third season of Stranger Things is officially on the cards, and it’ll likely arrive towards the end of 2018 – or, failing that, the beginning of 2019.
It: Chapter Two, meanwhile, will slither into theaters on September 6th, 2019. Can it possibly emulate the success of its predecessor? Stranger things have happened…