For some people, nothing is as terrifying as a clown. The infamous Stephen King book took that one step further by making that clown a killer and also the flesh incarnation of a terrifyingly powerful demon spider. And while both the book and the 1990s TV adaptation managed to effectively frighten their respective audience, both shied away from revealing the origins of Pennywise the clown. The same can be said for the new Andy Muchietti film, only, as it turns out, that wasn't always the case.
Pennywise's Secret Origin
Speaking to Variety, the killer clown actor #BillSkarsgard revealed about what the future IT films could explore, and the one creepy scene that didn't make the final cut.
“There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise]. The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I’m not the clown. I look more like myself. It’s very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from. That might be something worth exploring in the second one. The idea is the ‘It’ entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that."
Given that there was much that was unsettling about IT, for Skarsgard to deem the scene "really, really disturbing" must mean that the flashback was positively darker than the rest of the #horror movie.
Bear in mind that no such montage exists in King's acclaimed novel, although a similar Pennywise scene was part of previous director Cary Fukunaga's script. This sequence was more horrific than anything we saw in Muchietti's final version of the film. Thanks to some indepth detective work on the part of LowRes Wünderbred, we know that this original scene featured a "pale and transluscent" Pennywise making a deal with one of the mothers of the town, way back in the 1800s. In order to save herself, the mother feeds her infant daughter to Pennywise, who devours the child onscreen. Yikes!
This scrapped script may have formed the basis of the scene Bill Skarsgard is referring to, though it seems to have been altered significantly. We're left wondering if the scene was removed because it was simply too horrifying and graphic — or it could be that Muchietti later decided that the backstory just didn't feel right in the flow of the film.
As some of you may know, Andy Muchietti wanted fans to stay scared of Skarsgard's villainous clown, so much so that he told the actor not to interact with the kids on the set, in case the young actors got desensitized to him. Producer Barbara Muschietti even reduced the amount of press Skarsgard did for #IT simply so that the audience wouldn't see him without the scary clown get up, thus "preserving the mystery behind Pennywise." Similarly, a flashback scene might have reduced Pennywise's impact, by removing the mystery of the character and showing him to be more human.
And of course, it could be that the backstory scene is being saved up for #ItChapter2. The sequel, which is set to hit theaters in 2019, revolves around the adult version of the Losers Club and pits them against Pennywise once more. Or maybe the scene is being saved for even more installments of the franchise: after all the records IT broke, Warner Bros. might be hoping to turn IT into a Conjuring-esque franchise with multiple spin-offs and prequels — and this scene could easily be saved up for such an endeavor.
Whatever the reason, it'll certainly be great to find out more about where Pennywise came from, and if the scene is any bit as disturbing as Skarsgard claims it was, it'll certainly be worth the wait.
What's your take, Losers? Do you wanna know more about Pennywise?