So if you were a young kid in the 80s or the 90s, there’s a good chance that you have vivid, horrific memories of the television miniseries IT, based on the Stephen King novel by the same name. As an adult however, you may have come to realize that the film itself is not as scary as you remember, but instead can see the film for the fun, bizarre corn-fest that it is. Sure it’s dated, but still a lot of fun. You might also have completely dismissed the miniseries altogether, as per most fan opinion, it doesn’t do the original novel justice (I am not one of those people, as I tend to give the book a weird side-eyed glance due to the fact that it, shall we say, contains some questionable material). However, no matter where you land on the spectrum of Stephen King fandom, there’s one thing we can all agree on, clowns are terrifying. It is an indisputable fact, and Stephen King certainly utilized it to create an incalculable amount of nightmare fuel for many a kid who happened upon either the book or the miniseries. Well, get ready to put all your preconceived notions from the previous adaptation aside, because it seems as though the ever-caught-in-development-hell film adaptation has released its first official image of the iconic Pennywise.
The photo shows Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of the evil, otherworldly clown, and truth be told, he looks downright menacing. Skarsgård’s interview with Entertainment Weekly illuminates some of his thoughts on playing the iconic horror character.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane. It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he’s not even human. He’s not even a clown. I’m playing just one of the beings It creates. It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look…IT truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt. What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny.”
“There’s a childishness to the character, because he’s so closely linked to the kids. The clown is the manifestation of children’s imaginations, so there’s something child-like about that…I’ve been doing some clown research, I’m not sure if there was so much clown phobia before the novel. There’s obviously been this thing where people find clowns are unsettling, but nobody explored it the way Stephen King did.”
Though I can’t say that I’m a fan of the original book, and truth be told I was let down (or rather, down right confused) by the ending of the miniseries, but Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise is something I still thoroughly enjoy. However, I have to admit that after seeing a certain nostalgic look at the show, I can’t see it as anything other than a comedic performance (even Skarsgård admits that no one can play a better Tim Curry than Tim Curry, so his portrayal of Pennywise has to be different by necessity). For the longest time, I thought there was nothing IT could do to scare me anymore, but boy was I wrong. One look at this image, and you can tell the camp factor for the first adaptation has gone right out the window for a darker, more severe tone. Though I can’t stress enough how I’m hoping they’ll refrain from keeping certain elements of the book, seeing Pennywise’s new look has me thoroughly excited to see what else the film has to offer. Can the new film deliver on the promise of this photo? That remains to be seen, and as I’ve said before, I still have my doubts. But if there’s anything that might change my mind, it would be looking at this picture and staring straight into IT’s deadlights.
IT is set to hit theaters on Sept. 8, 2017.
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Can’t wait for the new movie? Check out the original miniseries on Amazon.com!