The Maze Runner and We’re the Millers actor Will Poulter has reportedly won the role of Pennywise in True Detective director Cary Fukunaga’s upcoming, big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s IT.
According to Variety, Poulter is in negotiations to play the iconic, terrifying clown from King’s 1986 novel in a two-part adaptation of the story that Fukunaga will co-write and direct.
The original novel followed a group of childhood friends who unite to battle an evil creature terrorizing the children of Derry, Maine. In order to defeat the creature, they must each overcome their personal demons in addition to the very real monster threatening their lives. Years later, a series of murders in Derry brings the group back together, and they must revisit the horrors of their experience once again when they face Pennywise as adults.
According to the report, Fukunaga had initially tested actors Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn for the role of Pennywise, but eventually decided to skew younger for the new villain. He was then “blown away” by Poulter’s audition.
A two-part, 1990 adaptation of IT first introduced television audiences to the terrifying clown named Pennywise, who was masterfully (and memorably) played by Tim Curry (pictured above). That adaptation, which was broadcast on ABC and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Fright Night Part 2), earned a pair of Primetime Emmy nominations and also starred John Ritter, Annette O’Toole, and Harry Anderson.
Poulter can be seen next in The Revenant, the upcoming film from Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu that also stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.
The script for Fukunaga’s adaptation of IT was co-written by Fukunaga, Chase Palmer (Neo-Noir), and David Kajganich (Blood Creek), and the director has said that the films will hew extremely close to King’s story in bringing the novel to the screen again.