Crew from new adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” in Bangor to scope out potential filming locations

It_coverWhile nothing is set in stone and no official announcements have been made by anyone associated with the film, Stu Tinker, owner and operator of SK Tours, the official Stephen King tour of Bangor, took a production designer from the upcoming Hollywood two-part remake of King’s “It” on a tour of the city on Monday.

Tinker, who owned King-centric bookstore Bett’s Books and has for 18 years run SK Tours, took production designer Mara LePere-Schloop on a tour of the city, scoping out locations including the Thomas Hill Standpipe, the land running alongside the Kenduskeag Stream that in “It” is called The Barrens, and the Waterworks on the Penobscot River. Bangor — well, Derry, Bangor’s stand-in in the King Universe — is the primary location in “It.” Tinker said LePere-Schloop said during her tour that they were hoping to shoot some scenes in the city and possibly get some aerial shots, though currently the leading locations for the majority of filming for the movie are in Yonkers, N.Y. and in upstate New York.

As to why Bangor, seemingly the logical choice for the location for filming “It,” may not end up being the chosen location, the answer is the same reason why many films and TV series — from HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge” to Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” — are not filmed here. Simply put, Maine does not offer the same tax incentives to filmmakers as other states like New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina do — which is why, for example, the TV series “Under The Dome,” based on King’s Maine-set 2008 novel, was filmed in North Carolina instead of Maine. Filming in Maine is just too expensive for most filmmakers.

Maine Film Office director Karen Carberry Warhola said in a phone call on Monday afternoon that no one from the “It” production had yet contacted her office.

Though not much else is known about the “It” remakes, here’s what we do know:

  • It will be written and directed by Cary Fukunaga, best known for directing the films “Sin Nombre” and “Jane Eyre” and the highly acclaimed first season of HBO’s “True Detective,” with stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Interestingly, LePere-Schloop was the art director on “True Detective,” which might mean some of that show’s ominous, Southern Gothic-inspired aesthetic might find its way into the new film. LePere-Schloop has also worked on films including “Django Unchained” and “Terminator: Genisys.”
  • “It” will be a two part adaptation, with the first installment tentatively slated to be released in 2017. The first part will feature the main characters as children; the second, as adults. According to what Tinker says LePere-Schloop said, the adaptation will also move the timeline up to the 1980s for the children’s story, and the present day for the adult’s story.
  • “It” producer Dan Lin said in an interview with Vulture that a summer 2015 shoot is currently the plan for the movies.
  • King himself is apparently pleased with the initial scripts for the remakes, and has given his full blessing.

The beloved but rather dated two-part 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of “It” is still popular among King fans. Despite their wishes, it seems highly unlikely Tim Curry will reprise his role as Pennywise.

What do you think? Should Bangor be a location for the “It” remake? Make your voice heard!

We all float down here, Richie.


Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.