When Hollywood first announced that Stephen King's It was being adapted for the big screen, two things happened. First, we had to fight against flashbacks to childhood viewings of It that almost threw us into a catatonic state. Then, once we managed to overcome the powerful urge to urinate in fear/excitement, our thoughts immediately turned to how Andrés Muschietti's remake would compare to the original TV movie.
For many fans, the idea of trying to replicate Tim Curry's iconic performance as Pennywise was clownish at best and sacrilegious at worst. Unsurprisingly, then, the casting a relative unknown such as Bill Skarsgård was met with some controversy. After just starring in Allegiant and the Netflix #horror show Hemlock Grove, Stellan Skarsgård's son may have been a surprise choice to play the Dancing Clown in #It, but it seems now that the last laugh's on those who criticized him.
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How Is Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise Different From Tim Curry's?
Early images that floated up from the sewers of Derry proved that Skarsgård's #Pennywise would be visually different from Tim Curry's. While the TV version of Pennywise looked like a nightmare born of a particularly terrifying children's party, the Skarsgård's clown has a far more demonic appearance, one that's steeped in historical aesthetics.
However, during a presentation at #SXSW 2017, director Andrés Muschietti revealed that the two clowns also differ in terms of personality. Reports of the clips shown so far suggest that Skarsgård has taken a far more sinister approach, freaking out audiences with eerie, contorted movements.
Muschietti understandably raved about his new Pennywise, explaining that:
"What I can tell you is that he is terrifying, and there was a lot of work involved in bringing a new version of that character to life. The work I did with Bill Skarsgård was great, and he was amazing and a very impressive, talented, sweet young man."
Sure, Muschietti is keen for fans to come round to the idea of a new actor taking on the Dancing Clown, but from all accounts, the new It remake is shaping up to be genuinely horrifying.
What Did The 'It' Cast Think Of Their New Pennywise?
As if this new Pennywise didn't sound scary enough, Muschietti decided to freak out his child actors even more by keeping them apart from Skarsgård until the clown was set to meet their characters.
The young performers maintained that they wouldn't be perturbed by Stephen King's most horrifying creation, but boy, were they wrong. Muschietti explained that:
“The day that [Pennywise] showed up on the stage, they fucking freaked out. Bill is like, seven-foot high, and I can't describe how scary he looks in person. He's a wiry man, crouching, making sounds, snotting, drooling, speaking in Swedish sometimes. Terrifying.”
While that genuinely sounds horrifying and perhaps even illegal, Pennywise isn't the only aspect of It that will mentally scar us. According to Muschietti, the demonic clown's reach will infect the entire town of Derry too:
“The sense of dread that grows in Derry is part of the dread of Pennywise. Pennywise is not just a character that is shapeshifting. His influence is all around and he's projecting this in the town of Derry and in the grownups of Derry. It's all part of that atmosphere of dread that is even the anticipation than the scares in this movie.”
And we thought Castle Rock sounded terrifying!
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Sure, it's impossible to tell for certain whether Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise could turn out be scarier than Tim Curry's, but Stephen King himself recently raved about the upcoming remake. If you can't trust the King of Horror himself, who can you trust? Hmmm, actually, let's just overlook how much he hated The Shining, an iconic masterpiece of cinema, and instead make up our own minds when the It remake is finally released on September 8, 2017.
Do you think Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise will be scarier than Tim Curry's?
(Source — The Verge. Poll Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television)