How the ‘IT’ Movie Deals With the Book’s Most Controversial Scene

Kim Taylor-Foster

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the ending of IT.

The eagerly anticipated film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT is now upon us. And with it comes a missing scene. Namely, the infamous sex scene between Beverly and the boys that make up the Losers’ Club.

In the novel, when this group of outsider kids comes together to battle It, they wind up doing the deed together in an effort to emerge victorious by cementing their close bond. With sexual togetherness.

What Does Stephen King Think?

Stephen King himself has suggested he might have thought twice about writing the scene had he penned the book today:

“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. It’s another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children’s library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues.”

Like the miniseries, Andres Muschietti steers clear of the provocative scene and tackles the defeat of Pennywise in another way. The children’s bond is still important, and though there’s a suggestion of sexual awakening among them that runs throughout the film, what’s key to their conquest is their ability to face and overcome their fears.

In a dramatic, climactic showdown, each member of the gang confronts Pennywise as he attacks them by taking the form of their fears. As the group comes together, strengthened and emboldened by their experiences, it’s at this point they realise they’re no longer afraid and that they’ve won.

For now, at least, anyway. The film only tells the first part of Stephen King’s tale. We can expect to see the story rounded off in a second part yet to come. Set 27 years in the future, it will see the gang returning to the town of Derry and coming together to face Pennywise again as adults.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.