With the modern film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT set to smash box office records this weekend, eager eyes are looking towards the confirmed sequel – with actor Bill Skarsgard teasing that IT Part 2 will take us further into the psyche of the killer clown Pennywise.
It’s always difficult for an actor to take on an iconic role, let alone in the horror genre, where the terror is built on the reputation of the monsters and serial killers who keep coming back for more scares. One of the iconic B-list horror performances came from Tim Curry’s over-the-top maniacal glee as kid-preying clown Pennywise in the 1990 TV mini-series IT. With a new adaptation of Stephen King’s original IT novel creeping into theaters 27 years later, Skarsgard had big shoes to fill. However, if the IT trailers and early buzz are any indication, the new actor more than lives up to expectations.
In an interview with UK news outlet Metro, Skarsgard and his young IT costar Jaeden Lieberher discussed all aspects of the horror adaptation, including the already-planned sequel. While IT certainly seems to have it share of killer clown, Skarsgard seemed eager to speak about the next film, which will explore the Pennywise entity more in-depth and really get into why it terrorizes these children:
I am attached to it but that’s all I can say, we’re in the early stages and I’m talking to [IT director Andy Muschietti] about it and figuring out what it will be. It’s a different story but I’m excited to delve in deeper to the character as there’s more exploration for who Pennywise is.
For those unfamiliar with the IT story, the entity comes back to kill children in the town of Derry every 27 years. The first half of King’s novel follows a group of kids as they face-off with the clown, while the second part picks up with the same kids as adults, now facing the monster yet again later in their lives. The first IT film just focuses on the portion of the novel with the kids – and speaking to Metro, Skarsgard said that he likes how the first IT movie progresses the audience’s understanding of Pennywise (as setup for the sequel):
There is depth and a change in Pennywise from the first scene to the last and there’s a journey there, and I’m glad you said that and it resonated with you – that’s exactly what I want people to feel, “wait a minute what is this thing?” And I think that’s what I wanted and that’s where I want to go for the second one, to delve into the psychological and metaphysical spaces of this transdimensional being.
We’ll get to see how Skarsgard captures the psychological and physical terror of the Pennywise character when IT hits theaters on Friday.
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