Comic-Con has begun teasing the attendees of its 2017 gathering with the sorts of exclusive footage and behind-the-scenes tidbits meant to stoke anticipation for upcoming movies and TV shows. But nothing gets the heart racing and the pulse pounding quite like hearing all about the kinds of jaw-dropping imagery unveiled in the big convention, and be subsequently told, “Oh, but you can’t see any of it.” Because if there’s one thing proven to be true, it’s that the entire world adheres to The Matrix philosophy: No one can be told what something is, they have to experience it for themselves. (Except for Joe Dirt, which is a garbage film you do not need to watch.)
And everyone who managed to crowd into a room last night to see a few new scenes from the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s It seems to have come away duly impressed, building the excitement for this R-rated dive into a story previously only depicted by the ABC network’s idea of what was scary for primetime television in 1990. Forgoing many shots of villain Pennywise for some scenes that better evoked the characters at the heart of It, Deadline reports a lot of nuance and tonal similarity to Rob Reiner’s acclaimed Stand By Me in the scenes of The Losers Club, the young outcast group of kids at the center of the story. Cinema Blend says it really “sells the connection between these kids,” and /Film praising the chemistry among the young actors. Which is to say, everyone sure is enthusiastic about this footage you aren’t allowed to watch.
But there are plenty of play-by-play descriptions, if you’re curious to read something that explains what you can’t look at. Entertainment Weekly has arguably the most in-depth of these, with a recap only a few steps removed from actual pages of a screenplay. The first takes place at a quarry, with the boys daring each other to jump off a cliff before Bev Marsh, the only girl of the group, arrives and upstages them all by jumping in first. (“Holy shit, we just got showed up by a girl,” one of them exclaims.) Soon they all follow her, swimming and having fun, until the scene concludes by having young Ben Hanscom telling them about the town’s history, and the worrying statistic that people in Derry disappear at a rate six times the national average.
The second clip features an encounter with sadistic bully Henry Bowers, who is introduced creekside with two of his buddies, beating up Mike Hanlon, one of the town’s only black kids and the target of Henry’s racist ire. During the abuse, Mike looks to the treeline, where he sees Pennywise watching. The clown gives a wave—not with his own arm, but a severed child’s arm. But before Henry can bring down a massive rock on Mike’s head, the Losers Club attacks, dispatching the bullies with a hail of rocks. The scene ends with Mike joining the Losers Club. Director Andy Muscietti was on hand to discuss how important it was to him to make the film about the relationship between these people. “This is a meaningful moment in the book and the miniseries where the Losers discover the power of being together—the power that comes from being together,” he said.
These great sequences, which again, you can go to hell, because you’re not seeing them until the film comes out, were then followed by a new version of the trailer. And with this you can rest easy, because it’s scheduled to be released next week. It supposedly contains much of the same footage as the earlier ones, but a new sequence features Finn Wolfhard’s Richie Tozier entering a room full of clown dolls, only to finally encounter Pennywise in the sort-of-flesh. It sounds terrifying, as does the possibility that most of Comic-Con, for those of us not there, will be a continual series of “Let me tell you about this, because no one else gets to see it.” It will arrive in theaters September 8. A new poster, made specifically for the con, is below.