Making Pennywise Weird Is The Key To “IT”

The trailers released to date for Andres Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s “IT” have downplayed dialogue scenes with Pennywise the Clown which has left people curious as to how it will unfold.

Subsequent TV spots since have answered that question a bit. An extended scene which aired with “Annabelle: Creation” this week showed off much of the film’s famous ‘storm drain’ scene and gave us a great idea of where actor Bill Skarsgard is going with the character – namely somewhere walking that line between playful and deeply unnerving.

Skarsgard himself tells EW that his character will default to the clown shape mostly for its own amusement: “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.”

Muschietti says there’s a key to the character and that’s unpredictability because he is a character you can’t keep in the shadows – he’s there: “Keep it weird. It’s weird all the time. Pennywise does things that make absolutely no sense, but they’re very disturbing because of the weirdness. He is present. It’s not like one of those movies where you can hide the monster. He’s front and center, he does his show, and he has an act. He is a clown.”

That can be seen in the storm drain scene where the clown is playful but at one point pauses, a bit of drool comes out and his eyes glaze over with hunger as the temptation of eating the young Georgie peers out from behind his happy facade trying to lure the kid into the drain. He quickly catches himself and then keeps pushing the kid to reach out for his boat.

The scene cuts off right before the big moment, but a set photo posted the other month suggest they are ‘going there’ with that infamous opening chapter from the book.

“IT” is coming to cinemas September 8th 2017.