Filmmaking siblings bring Stephen King's horror classic 'It' to life

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Brother-sister filmmaking team Andy and Barbara Muschietti scare up a Monster hit with a new version of Stephen King's "It." (KABC)

In 1986, readers were gripped by Stephen King's 1,138-page novel, "It." In 1990, ABC turned it into a mini-series. And now, 27 years later, "It" is scaring up big box office earnings on the big screen.

Filmmaker Andy Muschietti worked hard to stay true to the essence of King's best-selling book.

"The book is pretty gruesome and very intense," he said. "When you're making a movie about a monster, you have to hit them pretty hard just to establish his lethal power and get people terrified about the possibilities that he would show up at any second."

Andy's sister, Barbara, is his producing partner. She said finding the right actor to play the role of Pennywise, the evil clown, was key. They knew they had their man when they met Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard.

"The first time when we were doing the camera tests when I saw Bill in full regalia, I lost it," said Barbara Muschietti. "He's massive. People don't realize how tall he is. He's 6 feet 6 inches almost."

"It" is rated R for its violence and horror plus, bloody images and language. And the creepy stuff begins right from the opening sequence.

"It is something that is, like, on the very verge of something that is, like, almost unacceptable," said Andy Muschietti. "And I wanted to explore that boundary."

"It" opened in theaters Friday.

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