One of the reasons why people are excited to see this new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic book IT is this new iteration of Pennywise the Clown. Bill Skarsgård is stepping into the footsteps that Tim Curry left behind in the original 1990 miniseries, and with a role that is already as iconic as that, Skarsgård has some big shoes to fill.
Thankfully, Skarsgård does not have to worry about Curry’s thoughts on him taking the role. Recently, Curry appeared Fan Expo Canada. Speaking to ScreenGeek, Curry expressed his interest in Skarsgård’s approach to the character:
“Well, I like [Bill] Skarsgård very much, I think he’s very clever. It’ll be interesting what sort of clown face he puts on, because it’s not an obvious clown face at all. I’ve seen the trailer and you can’t really see him at all. So I’m fascinated to see it. He’s very good.”
When the original actor who portrayed the character is voicing his excitement to see what you bring to the table, that’s as big of a ringing endorsement as you can get. For many children of the 1990s, Curry’s Pennywise ignited their fear of clowns. Skarsgård is looking to reignite that fear for a whole new generation in 2017.
How do you think Skarsgård’s take on Pennywise will compare to Curry’s? Do you think it will make Curry proud? Is it possible that this new Pennywise will be the definitive take on the character? Sound off in the comments below.
IT will bring terror to the big screen on September 8, 2017, featuring a cast that includes Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Clown, Jaeden Lieberher as Bill Denbrough, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben Hanscom, Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh, Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie Kaspbrak, Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon, and Wyatt Oleff as Stanley Uris. A sequel covering the events from the second half of King’s book is planned, although no release date has been set.
10 Stephen King Adaptations Hollywood Needs To Get Right
With The Dark Tower and It, two of King’s most famous and beloved works, reaching the big screen, it feels like the gates are opening on a new age of Stephen King adaptations
Already we’ve seen 1) a new Carrie movie, 2) Under the Dome and 11/22/63 get TV adaptations 3) Netflix’s upcoming Gerald’s Game, 4) a TV series based on the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, 5) Josh Boone looks to make Revival his follow-up to X-Men: The New Mutants, 5) a new version of Hearts in Atlantis is in the works (just called Hearts) and 6) a Cujo remake, with the amazing title of C.U.J.O. Even Cell got made, plus a personal favorite of mine The Mist is back in the form of a new Syfy series airing later this year (based on both the original novella and Frank Darabont’s superb 2007 film).
Our age of cinematic universes feels tailor-made for the world-renowned author. King is known not only for his productivity but for how his stories interlock together in the same universe (multiverse, if you want to get specific). His entire oeuvre is connected by characters, locations, and events, all centered around the literal and figurative Dark Tower, the structure and book series sit at the center of King’s worlds. Of course, no one entity owns the rights to all of King’s works, so we won’t be seeing, say, Pennywise the Dancing Clown say hi to Idris Elba’s gunslinger in a movie anytime soon, but it speaks to King’s continued relevance.
There are, of course, the adaptations that are sacrosanct and need to no update, plus others where we are simply waiting to see if they happen. Speaking of Darabont, he delivered a trilogy of amazing King adaptations in my opinion between The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Rob Reiner also mastered the artform, giving us Stand by Me and Misery. There’s already a perfectly-good The Dead Zone movie and TV show. The Tommyknockers and Desperation got the miniseries treatment in 1991 and 2006, respectively. The latter came with a teleplay by King himself, while the former was announced for a new miniseries back in 2013 along with Rosemary’s Baby, the failure of which may have something to do with the radio silence since the announcement. The Shining is actually not one, with King famously disliking the Stanley Kubrick film enough to make a miniseries of his own to “correct” the record (and a Shining prequel is first on our list).
While some works defy or seek re-adaptation, the breadth of the man’s work means there’s plenty of new stuff to mine in the coming years as well. Click Next to learn which to watch out for!
Honorable mentions: The Dark Half, Dolores Claiborne, Apt Pupil, Dreamcatcher