We've been teased plenty. Over the last few years the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's masterpiece horror novel It has been the most frustrating on-again, off-again projects in Hollywood (apologies to The Crow). Now thanks to Mr. King himself (How cool is it that Stephen King uses Twitter?), we finally have confirmation that It will begin shooting soon.
In fact, the It remake's Facebook fan page posted an article from 24 Hours Toronto (an in city magazine) that suggest the film will start shooting in the city of Toronto between July 27th and September 6th of this year.
Director Andrés Muschietti was the last hand charged with envisioning the King classic. However, there's been little more than rumors surrounding the film's casting choices, most notably who will play the films's demonic dancing clown. Here are five actors who could potentially land this iconic horror role.
1. Will Poulter
Will Poulter was originally cast as Pennywise in 2015 before director Cary Fukunaga left the project over creative differences. Will is an interesting choice and wasn't exactly popular with fans of the 1990 miniseries. Upon closer study though, he might be perfect for the part. Will was first discovered by most in 2007's oddball hit Son Of Rambow but it was 2013's We're The Millers that proved Poulter possesses great comedic timing along with a natural affinity for physical comedy. These are both skills his predecessor the great Tim Curry also excelled at.
Unfortunately we may never know how good Poulter could've been as King's personification of evil. His dramatic and successful supporting turn in the Oscar-winning film The Revenant was a career highlight for the young Brit and it most likely propelled his star far past this heavy effects genre role.
2. John C. Reilly
Here's a rumor I've heard here and there over the years. I'm assuming that the makeup required for this part would dissolve any need for the actor involved to be within a specific age range. John would probably be my personal first choice. I think he fits the physical description better than anyone out there.
We all know Reilly is a comedic genius who can turn it on and never look back. Let us also not forget that John has been in Hollywood for over 20 years now. Long before those fast Talladega Nights or his crazy comedy Step Brothers, Reilly firmly established himself as solid dramatic actor with great supporting roles in films like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and The Perfect Storm. In my opinion, John has a checklist full of qualifications that prove he could be the best man to don the red nose and razor sharp teeth.
3. Denis O'Hare
Horror fans have grown very familiar with O'Hare over the past six seasons of the Ryan Murphy television hit, American Horror Story. Before that, O'Hare had given a head-turning performance as Russell Edgington, the menacing and charismatic Vampire King of Mississippi on HBO's True Blood. Denis has also appeared in several recent horror films including: Quarantine, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and The Pyramid.
Denis has an unsettling quality to his performances that might come in handy here, and he can definitely make a joke in a bad situation. O'Hare may not have the big box office name but he's certainly a very serviceable choice and a familiar face with genre fans everywhere.
4. Will Arnett
Will Arnett is best known for his many obnoxious and hilariously aloof characters from television and film. He may not be an obvious selection as he's never really been involved in a major horror project, also he's not an actor that takes on many dramatic portrayals. What Arnett does bring to the table is creepy good comedic timing along with a razor sharp wit and a subtle confidence that stands out on camera.
On the surface Arnett might not seem like much more than your average slap stick comedian. I'd have to argue though that Will's cynical demeanor and grinch-like grins could match up nicely with Pennywise's sarcastic sense of sinister humor. With a few hours in the makeup chair, I could totally see Will transforming into the perfect villain this film desperately needs to be a success.
5. Tim Curry
This is an honorable mention of sorts, while undoubtedly the sentimental pick and the fans' choice. This amazing actor playing Pennywise again might unfortunately only ever be a (Derry sewer) pipe dream. Tim isn't exactly healthy these days at 60-years-young; however, there's probably nobody else out there that will satisfy fans of the original film. The 1990 version was great for what it was but this time around Hollywood is involved. That probably means we're in for more of a straightforward horror film and less of a fun and family friendly horror/fantasy/thriller. Even if the movie does go for a PG-13 rating, it still won't likely be as lighthearted as the ABC miniseries.
Honestly, I don't see the studio banking on Tim to do anything more than maybe a small cameo, especially since he's still recovering from a series of strokes that have left him barely mobile. Tim wouldn't have likely been a realistic pick even without his current problems. Per usual, the studio would probably want a bigger name or even maybe younger face to bring in a whole new generation of young adults and pre-teens — an entire segment of the population who probably have no idea what It even is. The even sadder part is that if they were able and willing to give Curry a crack at the role, and if he were in good health, you can almost guarantee this long time horror icon would absolutely kill all over again.
In closing, let me add that I am a major fan of It — both the novel and the watered-down 1990 miniseries. A few years ago I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase a first edition copy of the 1986 novel signed by Mr. King himself. It's one of my most prized possessions and one of the many reasons I'm so happy they're finally attempting to tell this wonderful story on the big screen.
That's all for now, my fellow horror hounds. Tell us below which thespian you'd prefer play our favorite killer clown.
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