If you're not dying to see new Stephen King adaptation It this weekend, well, it's very likely that you're terrified of clowns. However, for the masses swarming the box office to watch Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) in action, there's one scene from King's original novel that you won't see on the big screen.
(For those who wish to remain totally spoiler-free, you may want to avert your eyes.)
As in the film, the 1986 novel follows the children of Derry, Maine, as they confront an evil supernatural entity known to audiences as It. Pennywise the Dancing Clown is just one iteration of that evil, albeit the most well-known to fans thanks to Tim Curry's iconic performance in the 1990 miniseries. However, if you read the book, the clown might not be the most disturbing aspect of the story. That's because King also included a group sex scene between the kids of the Loser's Club.
When the Losers get lost in the sewer after fighting the child-eating clown, Beverly, the only girl in the group, decides that they must be united if they hope to find the exit. She comes up with the idea that they should all have sex with her (again, yes, really) in order to connect. The sex is consensual, but it's incredibly shocking nonetheless.
"I wasn't really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The book dealt with childhood and adulthood — 1958 and Grown Ups. The grown ups don't remember their childhood. None of us remember what we did as children — we think we do, but we don't remember it as it really happened. Intuitively, the Losers knew they had to be together again. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood."
The miniseries version of the novel, which jumps back in time between childhood and adulthood, also skips the scene. As for the film version, which exclusively focuses on the kids (a second film is reportedly in the works that will jump ahead in time), the escape scene is omitted entirely, cutting to the Losers later meeting up in a field. However, Entertainment Weekly reports that in an early draft of the script, Beverly comforts the boys by taking each of their faces into her hands so that they can work together to find a way out of the sewers.
As much as we appreciate when film adaptations stick closely to beloved source material, I think we can all agree that we definitely did not want to see this scene play out on the big screen.