Stephen King's 'It' and 7 Other Things to Watch This Weekend

2:56 PM 9/8/2017

by Jackie Strause and Ashley Lee

Pennywise returns to haunt the big screen, while the James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring porn drama 'The Deuce' debuts on HBO.

Pennywise the clown of 'It'
Pennywise the clown of 'It'
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
  • It

    In theaters

    Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

    New Line’s two-part adaptation of Stephen King’s landmark 1986 novel follows a group of teens who initially defeat the titular creature, but it then returns years later to torment the adults who now have no memory of the first battle. Andy Muschietti directs the Warner Bros. horror pic, which zooms in on the children, played by Jaeden Lieberher and Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard, as they battle the demonic Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard).

    The R-rated scarer is rousing this summer's slumped box office back to life, after attendance fell to a 25-year low. After a record-shattering Thursday night in previews, It is on track for a record September release and the studio is already starting to firm up plans for a sequel. The movie has an 89 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the critical consensus is that It delivers on the scares.

  • Home Again

    In theaters

    Courtesy of Karen Ballard/Open Road Films

    Reese Witherspoon stars in the romantic comedy as a recently divorced mother who moves to Los Angeles and rooms with three younger men. Michael Sheen, Nat Wolff, Candice Bergen, Lake Bell and Reid Scott are also among the cast of the Open Road release. It marks the directorial debut of Hallie Meyers-Shyer, whose parents are writer-directors Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers.

    "I think there are a lot of women who are at a crossroad in their life wondering if they made the right choices, wondering if the life they chose at 25 is the life they want at 40," said Witherspoon of the timely flick, which Meyers-Shyer says was written with the intention of "wanting to say something about millennial men," as well as "that time in a woman's life right after they are separated or gotten a divorce and questioning their decisions and starting their life over."

  • 9/11

    In limited theaters

    Courtesy of Atlas Distribution

    Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Luis Guzman, Gina Gershon, Wood Harris, Jacqueline Bisset, Olga Fonda and Bruce Davison make up the cast of the R-rated true-life drama. Directed by Martin Guigui, the Atlas title centers on five people who find themselves trapped in an elevator of the World Trade Center's North Tower.

    The initial trailer for the low-budget feature triggered uproar over its depiction and Sheen's starring role, given his on-the-record comments giving voice to conspiracy theories about what really brought the towers down. Guigui defended Sheen's casting and the actor himself told THR: "I was not just coming up with stuff about 9/11. I was parroting those a lot smarter and a lot more experienced than myself, who had very similar questions. If I offended anyone, I apologize; and if I inspired anyone, then so be it."

  • Rebel in the Rye

    In limited theaters

    Courtesy of Sundance

    Nicholas Hoult portrays the notoriously reclusive author J.D. Salinger in the IFC biopic. Directed by Danny Strong, the drama charts Salinger's early writing career while studying at Columbia University, experiencing the horrors of World War II and embarking on a tumultuous relationship with young starlet Oona O’Neill — all of which helped shape his iconic masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye. Kevin Spacey, Zoey Deutch, Sarah Paulson, Hope Davis, Victor Garber and Brian d'Arcy James also star in the film.

  • One Mississippi

    Friday, Amazon Prime Video

    Amazon

    Comedian Tig Notaro returns with another six-episode season of her Amazon traumedy One Mississippi. After referring to the most difficult year of her life for first-season fodder, the creator and star now leans into a more fictionalized version of herself. After returning to Mississippi after the untimely death of her mother, Tig (the name of her character, too) explores a hint of a relationship with Kate (played by Notaro's wife Stephanie Allynne). Amid a post-election backdrop, Notaro also explores a season-long theme of sexual assault, as it was revealed that her character was molested by a family member at the end of last season.

    "I think there’s something for everyone in this season because the story has come from a lot of different places," Notaro told THR of still infusing comedy amid the serious topics. "After we got a second season, even before we knew that Trump would be in office, it still felt like it would be responsible to not touch on issues that are going on and that have been going on, rather than just paint Mississippi and life as this beautiful picture always."

  • The Orville

    Sunday, 8 p.m. on Fox

    FOX

    Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane steps in front of the camera for his first live-action TV series with sci-fi comedy The Orville. The creator and star plays Ed Mercer, commander of the space vessel who is forced to work alongside his ex-wife (Adrianne Palicki) after she cheated on him with an alien. Ed's crew is rounded out by Scott Grimes, J. Lee, Penny Johnson Jerald, Peter Macon Halston Sage and Mark Jackson.

    "The Orville is an earnest, rarely effective Star Trek-inspired dramedy, not a Family Guy-style sitcom or a Galaxy Quest parody hybrid," reads THR's review. Set 400 years in the future, MacFarlane explained of the series that he's sick of bleak, dystopian sci-fi. Saying, "The show is seeking to break a bit of new ground, tonally. It's not something that has been done on TV in recent years."

  • Top of the Lake: China Girl

    Sunday, 9 p.m. on Sundance TV

    Courtesy of BBC Worldwide

    Top of the Lake: China Girl is the "gripping follow-up to Jane Campion’s great 2013 miniseries," according to THR's review. The six-part season, coming four years later, sees The Handmaid's Tale's Elisabeth Moss and Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie joining forces as detectives on the series, which also stars Nicole Kidman, and airs over three nights. "With its sharp writing, superior cast, evocative locations, seductively seamy subject matter and delicious performances, Top of the Lake is decidedly back in a major way," the review continues.

  • The Deuce

    Sunday, 9 p.m. on HBO

    Courtesy of HBO

    The Wire and Treme creator David Simon has a new show on HBO, this time a '70s-set drama about the birth of the porn industry in New York City. The ensemble cast is led by James Franco, playing identical twin protagonists Vincent and Frankie Martino, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as prostitute and single mom Eileen “Candy” Merrell. Franco also executive produces the show and directed two episodes, while Gyllenhaal says she fought to be a producer on the porn drama.

    “This couldn’t be the boys version of sex work and pornography," Simon said of having a diverse writers room on the series, which is earning rave reviews. "It had to be a real collective.” Gyllenhaal added, "One of the main things it is about is sexual exploitation and misogyny and sexual curiosity and empowerment. I mean, empowerment is such a reductive word. To be honest, I don't even really know what that means. Having demand over your own desire? It's all of those things at once."

     

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