9:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Stephen King's 'It' Movie Producer Denies Creepy Clown Sightings Are Marketing Stunt
Producer Barbara Muschietti confirmed on Instagram on Sept. 22 that the It remake, starring Stranger Things breakout Finn Wolfhard (pictured), wrapped production just days after the 30th anniversary of 1986's Stephen King killer-clown novel upon which the New Line film is based.
The finish comes as online conspiracy theorists have linked a creepy rash of clown sightings — Pennsylvania authorities fielding calls of clowns yelling at children; Kentucky authorities arresting a 20-year-old lurker in full costume; and Tennessee police arresting a 64-year-old man who admitted to dressing as a clown and threatening children — to the studio, claiming it's all part of a viral marketing campaign. But here's the final word: "New Line is absolutely not involved in the rash of clown sightings," a studio spokesperson tells THR.
But that doesn't discount the fact that the creepy clowns are still causing concern in the U.S., with more sightings in places like Arkansas, Mississippi and South Carolina. Police in Barbourville, Kentucky, posted a lengthy public service announcement on Facebook, encouraging citizens to refrain from clowning around.
"Dressing as a clown and driving, walking or standing in public can create a dangerous situation for you and others. This creates a risk of harm to you, of collisions near roadways and to bystanders and children who become frightened. While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal," reads the post. "If you create such a situation that violates the law you will be charged and arrested. Also falsely reporting incidents to law enforcement is illegal and can lead to arrest."
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.