When it comes to the constantly expanding oeuvre of horror master Stephen King, there are certain characters that stand out from the pack, becoming legendary figures within the horror genre itself. One of those is most definitely Pennywise the Clown, the preferred form of the titular malevolent monster in King’s gargantuan best-seller IT. An ancient creature that arrived on Earth long before humanity took hold of the planet, IT possesses the power to assume the appearance and characteristics of whatever most frightens its chosen victims. To make things even more creepy, IT preys almost exclusively on children.
Pennywise was of course first brought to life on-screen by genre icon Tim Curry in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of King’s novel. Thanks mainly to Curry’s incredibly memorable performance, IT (1990) carries with it quite the reputation at this point, and has become quite the fountain of memes in recent years. However, any fan of IT – the book – is well aware that lots of great sequences didn’t make the jump to TV, mostly due to the broadcast network content restrictions of the time. Thus, even those who love the 1990 version of IT tend to be pretty hopeful that director Andy Muschetti’s upcoming two-part, R-rated theatrical take on the material might end up being more faithful to the story overall.
For those fans who just can’t wait to encounter Pennywise once again, EW has released a brand new image from IT (2017), featuring everyone’s favorite killer clown (Bill Skarsgard) creepily peeking out from inside a Derry, Maine sewer pipe. As anyone familiar with the character will know, Pennywise’s primary residence is underneath Derry, in the cursed town’s gargantuan labyrinth of sewer tunnels. These tunnels allow Pennywise an easy way to maneuver throughout Derry, claiming unsuspecting victims all along the way. To echo one of IT’s most famous lines, they all float down there.
While Skarsgard certainly has a tall task ahead of him in trying to match Curry’s legendary take on Pennywise, unsettling images like the one above should certainly help ease the minds of concerned fans a bit when it comes to whether or not he is up to the task. That is certainly not a face anyone would want to see glancing out at them from a sewer pipe – although to be fair, there really aren’t many situations where seeing anyone’s face emerging from a sewer would be welcome.
With the release of Muschetti’s first IT chapter coming this fall, one wonders when the world will finally get to lay eyes on the first trailer for the film. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of spin Skarsgard opts to put on Pennywise’s voices and physical movements, as Curry’s raspy voice and over-the-top mannerisms were definitely a key part of why his version of the character worked so well.