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Stephen King claims 'Stranger Things' owes a lot to 'It'

Stephen King might be one of the most prolific fiction writers in the world, but he is also a competent social commentator. He often takes to social media to write about the latest horror films and TV shows which is why many fans were interested in King’s opinions on Stranger Things

ItCarrie and The Shining are just some of the influential opuses that King has crafted. Without his work, the world of fiction would be completely different, as King has established many vital hallmarks of modern horror and supernatural fiction. 

Stylistically, his work can be placed somewhere between the suspense of Alfred Hitchcock‘s films and the thought-provoking fantasy of Neil Gaiman, meaning that each of his efforts is so multi-faceted that they can be revisited time and time again, with each experience different from the last.  

Since Stephen King’s stories are so captivating, it is no surprise that many of them have been adapted into iconic films. Although The Dark Tower movie was a damp squib compared to the books, The ShiningThe Green MileCarrie and Christine are just a handful of those that have become lauded in broader popular culture. 

One of his most iconic works is It, the harrowing story of ‘The Losers Club’ seven children in Derry, Maine, who are stalked by an evil alien entity that plays on the fears of its victims to disguise itself while hunting them down. Notably, its most famous appearance comes in the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, played by the master of villains, Tim Curry, in the original miniseries. 

There are many parallels between ‘The Losers Club’ and the gang of kids who are the protagonists in Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things, who battle a range of nefarious forces in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporterthe creators of the series, The Duffer Brothers, explained their love for Stephen King and their favourite of his works, It.

“It’s probably IT for both of us,” Ross Duffer said. “It’s the big one, and IT is obviously a huge inspiration for the show. That’s probably the biggest. I think just because we’re the age of those characters when we’re reading it, so it’s not that his other books aren’t amazing, they were”. 

“Growing up, he was such an inspiration,” the pair continued. “He’s like a God to us”.

Luckily for The Duffer Brothers, Stephen King is a big fan of Stranger Things. In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stonehe explained that he feels the show is heavily indebted to It by way of the main characters being a gang of kids who are powerless on their own but a force to be reckoned with when together. “I like [Stranger Things] a lot… But it does owe something to IT“, he continued. “That’s another book about kids who are weak and helpless by themselves — but together can make something that is very strong”.

King was then made aware of the fact that a long time before Stranger Things debuted in 2016 and before the release of It in 1986, children who possess supernatural abilities were at the centre of his books in titles such as Carrie and The Shining.

“Like a pitcher that has a great fastball or slider, you go back to what worked for you before,” he concluded. “I do think that kids are sort of magic. When I was a young man, I could draw [inspiration] from my own kids. Now that I’m so much older, I am drawing from my grandchildren and what I see them doing and how I see them interacting”.