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Stephen King horror It filmed in Ontario locations

ItA feature adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic horror story It filmed on location throughout southern Ontario.

Set in the fictional town of Derry in the north-east US state of Maine – the location King has used for several of his books – the story follows a group of bullied kids who band together when an evil spirit manifested as a clown called Pennywise begins killing local children.

Maine offers filming incentive support but is not known as a US production hub. Producers of It considered California and New York as stand-ins for Maine in the movie, but Ontario’s landscapes were a good fit for the north-east US and director Andy Muschietti had filmed there before.

Port Hope, a suburb of Toronto, became the stand-in for Derry’s Main Street. The neighbourhood of Weston was used for most of the film’s exterior suburban scenes.

“All of the locations went through extensive changes to make sure they were right for the tone and look of the show,” says Randy Morgan, the film’s location manager, in comments to KFTV. 

“Through the hard work of our construction team, set decorating crew and art department and painters, I think it looks great. 

“Making it rain in Weston for the better part of two filming weeks for the paper boat sequence was another great challenge (for an iconic scene from the book where we first meet Pennywise lurking in a storm drain)."

For more on filming in Ontario and for local contacts see our production guide.

“I can tell you that we had great co-operation from the people in these neighbourhoods and we worked very hard to keep people informed of our plans," Morgan says. "Without them, it never could have happened the way it did.”

The It production team spent just under $30m on location in Ontario over a 60 day shoot, including around $600,000 in Port Hope.

The release of It comes only a few weeks after the launch of movie The Dark Tower, also based on books by Stephen King. Elsewhere, a TV adaptation of the horror novelist’s 1980 story The Mist was shown over the summer after making the unusual move of filming in Nova Scotia.

Production is currently underway in Massachusetts on Castle Rock, a TV drama based on various Stephen King stories that takes its name from another regular – and also fictional – setting in the novelist’s work.

Images: Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros