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Why We Never Saw Pennywise's Archenemy In The It Movies

Even compared to the impressive roster of horror stories conjured up by Stephen King, the novel "It" is an absolute monster. Packing enough pages to incapacitate a human being, King's tale of a group of outcast kids known as the Losers Club battling an ancient evil that looks like a clown is an epic story. In fact, the novel's scope is so large that both times it has been adapted to screen in the U.S., the story has been split into multiple parts. Most recently, director Andres Muschietti gave viewers a two-part feature film adaptation. Released in 2017, "It" focuses on the Losers Club first encountering the menacing Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) as children, while 2019's "It Chapter Two" saw them reuniting to battle the monster as adults. But even two movies weren't enough to capture everything. Some book elements didn't transfer to the adaptation, one, in particular, being Pennywise's baffling arch-nemesis.

Revealed in Bill's first big battle with Pennywise in King's original novel, this supreme being proves to be a crucial ally to the gang, allowing them to overcome Derry's number one killer and learn its history. Considering how important this being is to the novel, why was it cut from the screen adaptations? Well, regardless of the work that needed to be done, there's no denying that there was a giant gap left vacant in the "It" movies that belonged to this fascinating character.

Pennywise's arch-enemy was a giant turtle

Somehow, within Stephen King's story of a child-killing clown, the author went way out there and threw a giant turtle into the mix, because why not. In the original novel, Bill performs the Ritual of Chüd (differing from the film adaptation that shows it in the second chapter), sending him into the Macroverse, a dimension beyond our own where Pennywise originated from. There he meets a Maturin, a god-like being who looks like a giant turtle and who created our universe by throwing it up. An opposing force to the self-proclaimed "eater of worlds," Maturin drops some pearls of wisdom before Bill faces off against Pennywise. Maturin's guidance helps the Losers Club win the first round against the ancient, intergalactic evil. 

So, why did Maturin get left out of the movies? While speaking to Inverse, Gary Dauberman, who worked on the screenplays for "It" and "It Chapter Two," simply said, "I was trying to wrap my head around a giant turtle floating through space and then Bill standing in front of it ... From a cinematic standpoint, I had a hard time ..."

Understandably, chucking a kaiju-sized creature into the mix would've been quite the task for Andres Muschietti. That being said, even though Maturin doesn't make an appearance, there are several homages to his character during the Losers Club's collective journey. In 2017's "It," when the kids are swimming, Bill spots a turtle below the water. There's also a moment where Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) finds a Lego turtle in Georgie's (Jackson Robert Scott) room following his younger brother's death. Muschietti also takes the time to give a nod in "It Chapter Two," as when Ben (Jay Ryan) goes back to school, he passes a turtle on a teacher's desk. Brief they may be, these little nods show love for one of King's biggest and strangest creations.