First Look at the Scary New Pennywise From Stephen King's 'It'

First Look at the Scary New Pennywise From Stephen King's 'It'

Jul 13, 2016

With more than a year to go before the release of the Stephen King adaptation It, we weren't expecting a glimpse of the new Pennywise so early. But Entertainment Weekly got a nice close-up shot of actor Bill Skarsgard in his clown makeup, and he looks terrifying. It's a very different take on the character than we saw in the 1990 TV miniseries based on the classic horror novel.

Tim Curry played Pennywise then, with a costume modeled after the iconic children's show character Bozo. He was familiar, approachable, up until he bared his razor-sharp teeth. Skarsgard's Pennywise seems like a creepy clown through and through, nobody to be mistaken for a kids' party hire. But it's one image, and understandably the first impression has to be scary.


[Image Credit: Marco Grob]

“It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look,” Skarsgård told EW. “Tim Curry’s performance was truly great, but it’s important for me to do something different because of that. I’ll never be able to make a Tim Curry performance as good as Tim Curry.”

EW also got a response from King about the new version of one of his most famous literary creations: “It’s a scary clown. But to me they’re all scary.”

The look of this Pennywise, particularly the smile and red makeup going through the eyes, was conceived by Rob McCallum. He's done concept and storyboard art for such movies as Pacific RimKick-AssResident Evil: Afterlife and the recently released King adaptation Cell. On Twitter, he claimed he doodled the design during a meeting "and it was spotted and liked." 

It has been in development for years with other actors lined up to play the villainous clown and other filmmakers to helm the feature remake (Mama's Andres Muschietti is directing it now). One of those filmmakers was Splice director Vincenzo Natali, who shared his and other artists' concepts in the below tweet last summer. 

 

It hits theaters on September 8, 2017. 

 

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