Though the young kids who starred in the first film will make brief appearance, without a doubt the only major cast member from last year’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s “IT” that is returning in a major way for the follow-up is Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Clown.
“IT: Chapter Two” will adapt the second half of King’s novel with the kids having grown up to be adults who must confront the immortal Pennywise after he re-emerges. One big change that has happened between films is that Skarsgard’s take on Pennywise has become a pop culture icon.
Doing press rounds for the “Castle Rock” series, Skarsgard spoke with Collider about how his monstrous clown has become an unexpectedly popular creation:
“Yeah, it’s weird. It’s a bit strange ’cause it’s a very different thing now. The first time I did it, nobody knew what I would do with it, so it was just all of this expectation. I didn’t know if it would work, or if people would respond to it.
There was a lot of that worry going on about it. But that was also cool ’cause I was just doing my thing and nobody knew what that was or could tell me how I should do it. I was like, ‘I’m gonna distance myself from the Tim Curry performance, and then come up with some weird stuff, myself.’ I worked really closely with Andy [Muschietti], the director.
This time around, because the movie became such a phenomenon, it’s almost like I’m re-adapting myself. The character became very iconic. Pennywise became a star. You see Instagram posts of people dressing up or dressing their kids as Pennywise for Halloween. It’s all over the place. LeBron James was Pennywise. How surreal is that?
So, it became this completely universal thing, outside of the thing. That’s not me. I can’t even relate myself to it anymore. And now that I’m going back and doing it, it’s such a bizarre thing. I don’t think I’ll ever really experience anything like it. It’s this dualistic thing of me and the work and the character, and then the thing that it became, but it’s fun.
We had the read-through and I’ve done some rehearsals, and I was surprised how much of the character was just there already. I instantly could access him again, like it was yesterday that we wrapped the first one. It was just all there. So, the work and preparation and figuring out the character is almost intuitive, which is pretty cool. It’s a very strange thing, but I’m trying to enjoy the ride, as much as I can.”
One big difference this time is that with the first film he very deliberately kept himself separated from the kids to try and garner genuine fear reactions from them. This time around he’s getting to hang out with the entire adult cast which includes the likes of Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak, Andy Bean as Stanley Uris, Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom, and Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon.
“IT: Chapter Two” remains in production and is slated to open September 6th 2019.