- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The sibling creators of the new adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “It” said the box office hit is a direct reflection of the “culture of fear” and “division” America has faced in the last year.

“It” earned $123 million in its opening weekend, far surpassing its predictions of $65 million. Director Andy Muschietti and his sister, Producer Barbara Muschietti, told Entertainment Weekly that the tale of outcasts banding together to fight hate and evil is both nostalgic and relevant.

“Everyone needs reassurance that it’s good to be part of a group, and it’s great to come together against division and fear,” Andy Muschietti said Monday. “Fear is used as a tool these days to divide and control and conquer. And hate is a tool. And that’s something Pennywise does, so that’s something resonating in our society right now.”

“I think the best thing that can happen is if people take this as a parable about what it is to live in a culture of fear, and understand that we’re better than that. And we have to stick together against those producers of fear, and stay strong,” he said.

Barbara Muschietti added, “For almost a year people have been beaten up, in both parties. I don’t know that anybody on either side of the political spectrum is feeling great.

“As a country, we’ve been pummeled and suddenly you see these kids who are very much a representation of that, and they fight — with love and togetherness — and they beat the monster. And that’s nice,” she said.

Stephen King, an outspoken critic of President Trump, compared the president to the film’s shape-shifting, child-killing villain during a speech at the Women’s March in Sarasota, Florida, in January, Entertainment Weekly reported.

“We just elected Pennywise as president,” Mr. King was quoted as saying.

He has also made the comparison on Twitter after “Vote for Pennywise” signs started popping up in his hometown of Bangor, Maine, just before the election.

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