2017 is an exciting year for die-hard Stephen King fans, what with adaptations of the prolific author’s collective work arriving in the forms of Netflix movies (Gerald’s Game), TV series (The Mist) and big-budget films alike (The Dark Tower). Among the King stories that are making their way to the big screen next year is IT, a film version of the King horror/thriller novel of the same name that was famously adapted into a TV miniseries in 1990, starring Tim Curry as the monstrous Pennywise the Clown. Bill Skarsgård (Hemlock Grove) is stepping into the role of Pennywise for the IT movie adaption, as directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama).
Skarsgård’s costume and makeup as Pennywise in IT has already been officially unveiled, well ahead of the film’s theatrical release next year. IT design and make-up prosthetics artist Tom Woodruff Jr., whose resume as a makeup artist goes back to the 1980s (where he worked on such films as Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Predator and Pumpkinhead), has now revealed another photo of the creepy clown’s costume in full.
You can check out the IT photo (which Woodruff posted to his Instagram account with the straight-forward description “Pennywise makeup for 2017’s IT”), below:
UPDATE: Photo removed at request of Warner Bros.
Skarsgård has spoken in the past about his version of Pennywise being more child-like than Curry’s portrayal of the creature, with the idea being that his appearance reflects how Pennywise is a physical manifestation of everything that the protagonists from IT fear as children. The above photo offers further proof that this new Pennywise has a strangely antiquated doll-like quality to his costume in general – something the film’s costume designer Janie Bryant (Mad Men) has said was very much the intention.
King’s original IT novel was co-adapted for the big screen by Gary Dauberman, a screenwriter who is no stranger to stories that put a horror genre twist on the notion of dolls and other typically-innocent childhood objects; having also written The Conjuring spinoff Annabelle, as well as next year’s sequel, Annabelle 2. Muschietti’s best-known film to date, Mama, similarly explores the dark side of childhood through the lens of a fantasy parable, so the design of the new Pennywise in the IT movie is a proper reflection of both the film’s writer and director’s storytelling sensibilities.
As was the plan back when Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) was overseeing the project, IT will explore only half of King’s original narrative by focusing on the experiences of its protagonists, the members of The Losers’ Club, when they are kids being terrorized by Pennywise growing up in Derry, Maine. If this first installment is successful enough, then a second IT film will be made that focuses on the Losers’ Club experiences as adults. Whether or not Muschietti plans to direct the second chapter in the story remains to be seen, not least of all because the first IT film seems to lie more in his wheelhouse, thematically-speaking, than the second movie would (see: a parable about grown-up people dealing with childhood trauma).
Source: Tom Woodruff Jr.