Production is currently underway on the two-part, big-screen feature based on Stephen King’s It, and now we have our first look at the story’s most iconic — and terrifying — character, Pennywise the Clown.
The first image of the new Pennywise, as portrayed by Bill Skarsgard, certainly maintains the creepy visual standard set by Tim Curry in the 1990 television miniseries that first brought King’s story to the screen. And according to Skarsgard, the character goes well beyond the typical psychopathic killer.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhuman,” Skarsgard told Entertainment Weekly, which debuted the image of Pennywise. “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 … It truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt. What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny.”
Set to be directed by Mama filmmaker Andy Muschietti, It tells the story of a group of kids in the town of Derry, Maine, who must overcome their fear in order to battle an evil creature tormenting the town’s youngest, most vulnerable inhabitants. Decades later, they find themselves brought together again when a murderer begins preying on the town’s children once again.
The film will unfold in two feature-length chapters, with the first focusing on the younger versions of the characters, and the second installment following the same characters as adults.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the movie will bring the story forward in time a bit, with the younger versions of the characters having their encounter with Pennywise in the ’80s, and the adult characters taking him on in the current time period. (The events in King’s original novel and the 1990 miniseries were set in the ’50s with the children and ’80s with the adult characters.)
The cast of the first film in the two-part feature includes Skarsgard as Pennywise, along with Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (Hawaii Five-0), and Jeremy Ray Taylor (42) as the young friends brought together by the terrifying events unfolding in their town.
Stephen King’s It – Part One is scheduled to hit theaters September 8, 2017.