Andy Muschietti's remake of Stephen King’s IT, is in full shooting mode right now, and there has been a lot of discussion about the recently released look at Pennywise the clown, and the casting of (26-year-old) Bill Skarsgård.
I love the novel, and I like the 1990 miniseries, despite having some serious problems with it (mainly the inclusion of John Ritter). Tim Curry's take on the evil clown was incredible, and possibly my favorite thing he's ever done. I was never able to get into Rocky Horror Picture Show, and let's just try to forget about McHale's Navy.
So, what are the arguments?
Tim Curry Was Perfect, Let's Just Get Him Again!
What? That's ridiculous. Yeah, he created a great character, both playful and terrifying, but why would you want him to reprise his role in a complete remake? The IT miniseries had a lot of good going for it — Tim Curry being the obvious standout — but it's not so hallowed that it can't (or shouldn't) be reinterpreted.
What's the point of a remake when your main villain would be exactly the same as the previous one? The point of a remake is to do something new and fresh (sure, it often goes wrong, but that's a different discussion).
Moreover, Curry is 70 years old, has suffered a stroke and can barely stand on his own. The dude was amazing, but let's leave that performance as it is, shall we?
Bill Skarsgård Is Too Young To Play Pennywise
This is an argument that I simply don't understand. IT is an ancient being. We don't really know how old it is (yes, I'm aware of the silliness of using the word "it" in a post about "IT", but it [IT?!] can't be helped), we just know that IT is old.
Sure, you could cast an octogenarian to play Pennywise (and that would, indeed, be a cool interpretation), but if a being is essentially immortal, how does physical age really play a part? If a being is essentially immortal, would it look old? Middle-aged (as Curry looked)? Young? It really doesn't matter. How does middle age suggest ancient more than an old or young man?
It should also be considered that it will likely be hard to tell the actor's age under the makeup, but I quite like the idea of an immortal being looking like a young man. That idea suggests a timelessness.
So now, my personal arguments:
Let The Costume Tell His Age
If they’re going with a younger actor to play this force of evil, how will they portray his (if IT is indeed a him) costume? Well, based on this photo, the costume will paint Pennywise as an old, if not quite ancient figure. Have a close look:
Costume director Janie Bryant referred to the outfit as medieval and victorian, and I can see that. The middle ages were a thousand years ago, and to have this clown wearing such old, potentially tattered clothing, would suggest his age even when his face doesn't.
Old Costume + Young Face = Timeless
Of course his outfit is old and even too retro a look for hipsters to try. He cobbled it together a millennia ago. Of course his face looks young — the dude is immortal. I'm into that dichotomy. The young face and body, the ancient clothing.
Will Skarsgård do a good job? Will it be a good film? Who can say? But thus far, I'm digging this direction. Part one comes out in September of next year. Until then, I’ll be following the news, and I’ll write about anything interesting.
I took this picture myself (hence why it's not a very good image) on Pape avenue in Toronto where IT has been filming. My guess is the house will be portraying 29 Neibolt street, where a lot of things go down.
Check out some other creepy clowns in the Movie Pilot original video below and see which of them was the scariest:
What are your thoughts on IT, the novel, the miniseries, or the remake? Comment below and let’s discuss!