Pennywise the Dancing Clown (AKA The Eater of Worlds) is not your typical movie monster.
Unlike, say, Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, Stephen King’s shapeshifting abomination is able to manifest itself in a variety of different forms based on its target of choice. With an insatiable appetite for children (frightened flesh tastes better, apparently), Pennywise often masquerades as a wisecracking circus clown to lure in his prey, while King’s demon also has an unnatural ability to morph into a person’s greatest fears and nightmares, which only has us all the more intrigued for New Line and Andy Muschietti’s imminent adaptation of It.
The director’s got a tough task ahead of him, no doubt, as the source material isn’t exactly something that’s easy to work with. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview, Muschietti explained that the challenge in making this movie is that, among other things, Pennywise is always right there, in your face.
“He is present. It’s not like one of those movies where you can hide the monster,” the filmmaker says. “He’s front and center, he does his show, and he has an act. He is a clown.”
When asked what the key was in bringing Stephen King’s iconic monster to life, the director said that it was all about keeping things weird.
“[I just] kept it weird,” Muschietti says. “It’s weird all the time. Pennywise does things that make absolutely no sense, but they’re very disturbing because of the weirdness.”
Bill Skarsgård, the man playing the horrifying clown, has set the bar high, too, after the actor revealed to Empire recently that he hopes to scare a “whole generation” with his “animalistic and instinctive” Pennywise. Eek!
In order for this movie to be as effective as the book and the series, I have to scare a whole generation. My take was that Pennywise functions very simply. Nothing much is going on in terms of what he’s thinking — he’s animalistic and instinctive.
While the former Hemlock Grove actor is undoubtedly one of the headline acts, It has also found room in its ranks for Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Stan Uris (Wyatt Oleff), Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs), Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis).
Hailing from some far-flung corner of space, the ancient being known as Pennywise is creeping ever closer, and we can hardly wait to see Skarsgård’s monster light up the big screen. September 8 is the date for your diaries, at which point we’ll be able to form a clearer picture of New Line’s tentative It sequel plans and the possibility of revisiting The Losers Clubs as adults.