With just a few months to go until the big screen remake of Stephen King’s IT hits theaters, Pennywise makes his way onto the cover of Mad Movies. In the current age, it seems safe to say that the idea of clowns being any type of happy go lucky source of childhood wonderment has mostly gone away. Chances are, if one were to ask people with coulrophobia to name a figure from pop culture that might have directly contributed to their fear of clowns, a good number of them will bring up Pennywise, the default form of the titular shape-shifting monster from Stephen King’s IT.

Pennywise was already a pretty well known villain based just on the runaway success of King’s novel, one of his most celebrated and fastest selling. Still, it wasn’t until genre icon Tim Curry put on the white make-up, floppy red shoes, and giant horrifying teeth for ABC’s 1990 miniseries adaptation of IT that the character truly became immortal. Curry’s Pennywise sits at or near the top of basically every list of creepy movie and TV clowns, and in most cases, it’s not even a contest.

With all that in mind, one should really commend the bravery of young actor Bill Skarsgård, who signed up for the gargantuan task of trying to make the Pennywise role his own in director Andy Muschetti’s upcoming theatrical re-adaptation of IT. Unlike Curry — who was already a proven commodity in 1990, thanks to classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Legend — Skarsgård comes into IT as a fresh face to most. Warner Bros.’ marketing for IT has kept full views of Pennywise to a minimum, but a new cover image of the French magazine Mad Movies presents arguably the best close-up face shot of the killer clown to date. Check it out below:

Stephen Kings IT Pennywise on French Magazine Cover IT Remakes Pennywise Clowns Around on New Magazine Cover

As mentioned above, Warner Bros. has seemingly gone out of its way to limit clear views of Pennywise in the marketing materials for IT so far, and to be fair, that strategy has worked like a charm. One of the most widely circulated images from IT is from the end of the film’s second trailer, featuring Pennywise standing behind a handful of red balloons. Another features the clown half submerged, preparing to strike at Bill in his basement. That said, the above image is just as unsettling as either of those, proving that focusing in on Pennywise’s face is no less creepy.

With just over two months remaining until Muschetti’s IT arrives in theaters, there is a lot riding on the film’s success. If IT impresses, Muschetti could see his directing career hit new heights, and Skarsgård could see himself vaulted into the upper echelon of Hollywood up-and-comers. Not only that, but Curry’s take on Pennywise might finally have some real competition for creepiest pop culture clown. For the sake of devoted fans, here’s hoping IT (2017) doesn’t itself end up floating down in the cinematic sewer.

Next: Stephen King’s IT Movie Gets an Official R Rating

Source: Mad Movies (via Bloody Disgusting)

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