Stephen King can’t decide who his favorite Pennywise actor is. Pennywise the Dancing Clown has become a near legendary horror character thanks to King’s book IT and the TV miniseries from 1990. Pennywise is returning to our screens this week as a new adaptation of IT helmed by Andres Muschetti looks to terrify audiences all over again. It’s a coming-of-age story, but with wicked horror twist. The film succeeds in being horrifying but also manages to maintain an emotional depth, read our review to find out what we thought in detail.
When Bill Skarsgard took on the role, he looked to bring psychological depth to Pennywise, enabling him to get into the mindset of the clown. The actor said that he was “intellectualizing” the monster. We already know that plans for a sequel are in place, as this film is only the first chapter. The second film will focus on another dimension whilst also exploring Pennywise in a deeper way. Bill Skarsgard has also stated that it would examine his being and purpose.
IT first came to our screens in the 1990 series, starring Tim Curry as Pennywise. It’s a role that became iconic after Curry’s performance, and is the most memorable part of the miniseries. And although the series itself is actually pretty terrible, many fans still praise Curry. But Skarsgard’s new take on the villainous entity looks to terrify audiences in an entirely different way. Stephen King has already approved the changes to the film. But when speaking to Yahoo, he explained that he can’t decide which performance of Pennywise is his favorite.
“I thought Tim Curry made the miniseries. He did. If Pennywise doesn’t work, obviously the thing doesn’t work at all, you know?…Pennywise is scary in the book, he needed to be scary in that miniseries, and he needs to be scary in the movie. And he is. They’re both good. I wouldn’t pick one above the other. I would just say that Andy [Muschietti] had more to work with in terms of modern technology and, for all I know, budget too. I’m sure he must have had more; I can’t remember what the miniseries cost — at one time I knew — but it wasn’t that much. It was a TV thing.”
Tim Curry has recently said that he’s excited to see the new film with a fresh take on the character. Hopefully, Bill Skarsgard’s performance will be completely different to Tim Curry’s, making them two separately scary villains. It’s worth noting that with the upgraded budget and special effects in this version, the film will likely use Pennywise in different ways than the miniseries did in an attempt to terrify audiences.
Alongside our own review, other critics have praised the IT adaptation. Many reviews are saying that it’s one of the better adaptations of Stephen King’s works. King himself has already mentioned that he wasn’t prepared for how good the movie is, which should certainly give his fans some hope. The film is already the top pre-selling horror film ever, so anticipation is clearly high for the horror flick.
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