'IT': How the Losers' Club Members Differ in the Book vs. the Movies

How different are the characters in the movies vs. Stephen King‘s book?

The IT movie franchise did a terrific job lining up the movie characters with the ones we all know and love from the book. But are there any significant differences between The Losers’ Club in the film vs. the 1986 novel? As it turns out, there are a few. Let’s check out the most significant differences between the gang in the movies vs. the book.

Richie Tozier in the book vs. the movie

In the book, Richie Tozier grows up to be a famous radio DJ as opposed to a stand up comic. His character in the novel is always doing hilarious impressions that annoy the daylights out of the rest of the Losers’. The film excludes this aspect about Richie. And when it comes to his biggest fear, it’s werewolves in the book as opposed to clowns. 

Richie Tozier and Eddie Kasbrak’s relationship in the book vs. the movie 

In the book, the relationship between Eddie Kaspbrak and Richie Tozier is more emphasized. We get a closer look at the banter between them in the novel, and Richie is always finding little ways to tease Eddie. When it comes to their relationship in King’s book, it is left ambiguous as to whether they share a romantic connection. 

Although it isn’t outright stated that Richie has a crush on Eddie, it is heavily implied. Richie is always calls him a “cutie” and frequently pinches his cheek. And when Eddie dies in the book, Richie has the strongest emotional reaction. 

While Richie’s love for Eddie isn’t outright addressed in the novel, it is made clear in the movie when he carves the letters “R + E” into the kissing bridge.

Bill Hader talks about his character’s sexuality in an interview with The New York Times. He says, 

“Andy and I talked about how overt we should make it, and I said if it’s not overt, then why is it in the movie? You can’t do a half measure on it. You’ve got to go the full way or don’t even allude to it. Let’s not be coy. Let’s just say what it is.”

Beverly Marsh in the book vs. the movie

As for Beverly, the movies stay pretty loyal to the book character, except for one crucial detail: Her hair.

Beverly’s haircutting scene from the first movie adds a layer of depth to her character. This never happens in King’s novel, as Bev’s hair remains long into adulthood.

The movies arguably empower Beverly more-so than the book, by having Beverly cut off her locks. 

According to The World of IT, “Beverly’s hair is basically a reflection of her acting against the abuse,” says director Andy Muschietti. “Her hair is something that her father is fixated on, and it sort of represents her abuse. She takes control by cutting it off. And she cuts it off in the bathroom, and the hair goes into the sink. The way IT terrorizes her is attacking her with her own hair.” 

Ben Hanscom and Mike Hanlon

In the book, Mike Hanlon is the one to heavily research the history of Derry as opposed to Ben Hanscom. It makes sense, considering Mike grows up to become a librarian who is the only one to remain in Derry. Throughout the novel, Mike has all the inside information on Pennywise rather than Ben.  

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