Go ahead, laugh. It’ll be easier for him to find you in the dark.
Imagine this staring at you from inside the concrete chamber of a storm drain.
We’ve already gotten a close-up of Pennywise the Clown from the new film version of Stephen King’s It (out Sept. 8, 2017), but here we step back for a fuller view of the creature that likes to take the form of a leering, sinister clown.
Bill Skarsgård is playing the ageless, supernatural beast who feeds on the fears of children, and it’s clear director Andy Muschietti (Mama) is steering away from the modern, baggy-suited, rainbow-hued clown for something a bit more… archaic.
For that, the filmmaker relied on Emmy-winning costume designer Janie Bryant (Deadwood, Mad Men) who crafted a form-fitting suit that draws upon a number of bygone times – among them Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, and Victorian eras.
No need to look it up. It’s what you’re feeling right now. The unreasonable fear of clowns.
Maybe it’s not so unreasonable.
Look below and you’ll lay eyes on the first look at Pennywise the Dancing Clown from next year’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, with Bill Skarsgård taking on the role of the most fearsome creature to ever clutch a bouquet of balloons.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane,” Skarsgård says. “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.”
Anyone who’s turned the pages of King’s epic coming-of-age horror thriller knows this bloodthirsty funster isn’t your average psycho in grease paint. Pennywise is the favorite embodiment of a nameless, shapeless evil that dwells beneath a small town and feeds on the fear – and sometimes limbs – of children.
This manifestation of Pennywise from director Andrés Muschietti’s film (out Sept. 8, 2017) is elegant, precise — even alluring. He’s in control. It’s a stark contrast to the messy, smeared, and dirty scary-clown trend pioneered eight years ago by Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight.
“It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look,” says Skarsgård, best known for Allegiant and the Netflix series Hemlock Grove.
The key to this monster? Having fun with it. “It truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt,” the actor says. “What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny.”
Stephen King’s It starts filming with director Andy Muschietti
At long last, It is finally happening. Director Andy Muschietti (Mama) announced the kick off of production on the Stephen King adaptation over Instagram, making good on New Line’s plan that’s been long in the works.
Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) was originally set to helm the two-part story. He eventually departed over creative differences, and with him went Will Poulter (We’re the Millers), who was initially cast as the titular demonic clown. Muschietti was courted for his replacement shortly after, and he and New Line have wrangled together a new cast.
Bill Skarsgard (Netflix’s Hemlock Grove) succeeds Tim Curry as Pennywise, a demon posing as a child-killing clown who torments a group of kids called “The Loser’s Club.” The cast also includes Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, and Jeremy Ray Taylor.
See the first photo from the set from Muschietti’s Instagram.
Producer Roy Lee said back in February that the film “is very close to the source material in one way but very different if you look at it as a literary piece of work. We’re taking it and making the movie from the point of view of the kids, and then making another movie from the point of view of the adults, that could potentially then be cut together like the novel. But it’s gonna be a really fun way of making this movie.”
Part one is scheduled for release on Sept. 8, 2017.
Bill Skarsgard Is Murderous Clown In Stephen King’s ‘It’
Up-and-coming actor Bill Skarsgard will play the lead role in It, New Line Cinema’s Andy Muschietti-directed adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller about neighborhood pals who are haunted by the murderous clown Pennywise. Barbara Muschietti, Roy Lee and Dan Lin are producing along with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith.
It’s a step up for Skarsgard, who has been knocking on the door in series like Hemlock Grove and the Divergent sequels. He’s the son of actor Stellan Skarsgard.