Much like the abysmal A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, New Line Cinema’s new adaptation of IT is going to either sink or float up from the sewers based on the antagonist’s performance. Much like Freddy Krueger stalked the kids of Springwood, Pennywise will do the same in Derry, Maine. Outside of finding a director, casting Pennywise would be the hardest decision in bringing the Stephen King story back to life.
Variety caught up with Andres Muschietti, who landed the lauded gig of handling not one but two IT films. The first task, casting the perfect Pennywise. Bill Skarsgard would eventually land the role, with the first trailers proving that he was a damn fine choice.
“I wanted to stay true to the essence of the character,” explained Muschietti. “I knew that I didn’t want to go the road of Tim Curry [who played Pennywise in the TV miniseries]. 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.”
While he didn’t stay in character when the camera stopped, they did “try to maintain distance between him and the kids.”
He continued: “We wanted to carry the impact of the encounters to when the cameras were rolling. 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 kids in peril, the Losers’ Club, include Sophia Lillis, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor.
Creature performer Javier Botet will play The Leper, and Nicholas Hamilton plays Henry Bowers. The cast also includes Owen Teague who plays Patrick Hocksetter, a bully who torment the Losers’ Club. Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, and Barbara Muschietti produce.
The film will be in theaters September 8, 2017.