In 1990, one of the horror genre’s most iconic personifications of terror was unleashed in the form of Pennywise the clown, the lead character of Stephen King’s It. Now, director Andrés Muschietti is bringing back Pennywise and his victims in a remake that already has fans in an uproar of excitement.
Muschietti’s take on the chilling tale already has a few differences from the first adaption, and this may be for the better.
The 1990 on-screen adaption of It was originally a miniseries shot for TV, and it was never meant to be an actual film. Upon its physical release on VHS, DVD and recently Blu-Ray, it was packaged and edited to be watched like a full-length feature. This is perhaps the main reason why the film never felt cohesive, because it was meant to be split up into two parts focusing on different times in the main character’s lives.
This is not to say the miniseries was bad, as evidenced by the thousands of posters, drawings and fan fair surrounding Pennywise alone. In addition, actor Tim Curry’s performance as the clown gave fans a new villain to fear, and his contribution to the genre is one that still reverberates today. In almost every interview with newly-cast actor who will be playing Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård, that Curry performance comes up.
0In an interview with Vulture, Skarsgård talked about the characteristics of the villain and what makes him so unique to play.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane. It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he’s not even human. He’s not even a clown,” Skarsgård said. “I’m playing just one of the beings It creates.”
One striking difference that is already noticeable between Skarsgård’s rendition of Pennywise is his aggression. In the original, Curry’s performance was more about expressions and the set-pieces where he showed up because the emphasis was on the kid’s being weakest when they were alone. Skarsgård’s Pennywise seems to be moving toward a more imminent type of danger, as opposed to the subtle scares that Curry brought to screen.
Not only does the remake have the opportunity to build upon what its predecessor did, but it will probably be more cohesive. From the looks of the trailer and casting it does not seem like this film will go back and forth to different points in the characters’ lives, which is something the miniseries was able to do with its two parts. Muschietti’s vision of King’s popular novel seems to be coming along quite horrifically, to many fans’ delight.