Far more memorable than virtually anything else in the 1990 mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's It was Tim Curry's performance as the terrifying clown Pennywise, an image that would set the standard for creepy clowns in the decades to follow. Between the upcoming remake's teasers, trailers, and clips, audiences have only seen actor Bill Skarsgard's performance as the clown, without yet hearing him utter a single line of dialogue.
When speaking with Variety, director Andres Muschietti explained how he decided on Skarsgard to embody the iconic horror villain.
"I wanted to stay true to the essence of the character," the director pointed out. "I knew that I didn't want to go the road of Tim Curry. Bill Skarsgard caught my attention. The character has a childish and sweet demeanor, but there's something very off about him. Bill has that balance in him. He can be sweet and cute, but he can be pretty disturbing."
The director also pointed out that, although Skarsgard didn't necessarily stay in character in between takes, he didn't want the young cast to spend too much time with the actor when not shooting, and encouraged the cast to "maintain distance" between them.
"We wanted to carry the impact of the encounters to when the cameras were rolling," Muschietti detailed. "The first scene where Bill interacted with the children, it was fun to see how the plan worked. The kids were really, really creeped out by Bill. He's pretty intimidating because he's six-four and has all this makeup."
The upcoming film has earned an R rating, and despite the cast consisting of young actors, Muschietti recently revealed the advantages of heightening the horror.
"Long story short, there's all sorts of difficult situations, and we had the chance to tell them in a movie that faces directly those conflicts," Muschietti notes. "In particular, the families of the young actors were very open-minded, so we could tell the about subjects that are normally very touchy."
The storyline revolves around a group of young kids in Derry, Maine who come face-to-face with their worst fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
The cast of IT includes: Bill Skarsgård, Javier Botet, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Nicholas Hamilton, Owen Teague and Logan Thompson.0comments
The adapted screenplay was penned by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman. The producers on the film include Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti, with Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison and Jon Silk serving as executive producers.
Be sure to check out IT when the movie hits theaters on September 8, 2017.