Warner Bros, Stephen King’s ‘It’: Who Will Play Pennywise The Clown? [UPDATED]

Warner Bros. has been trying to finalize production of another adaption of Stephen King’s It for a very long time now, and they have finally nailed down an official release date – September 8, 2017, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Meanwhile, fans and critics are speculating on who Warner Bros. will cast as the film’s maniacally terrifying clown, Pennywise.

Tim Curry’s spot-on performance in the 1990 made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen King’s It as the main antagonist, Pennywise the clown, served as pure nightmare fuel for children across the nation.

Steve Barton, founder of internet horror hub Dread Central, argues in an interview with Chris Eggertsen of Hitfix that most parts of the TV movie were just decent, but it was Curry’s now-iconic work on the project that made it into the cult classic as which it is remembered today.

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Barton goes on to say that because of Curry’s extremely memorable take on the role, Warner Bros. have their work cut out for them in casting a new Pennywise.

“Curry left some really big shoes to fill,” Barton insists.

“The weight of that movie, essentially, is going to be on their shoulders. You need somebody out there who can own the screen. You need somebody out there who can be as frightening as Doug Bradley and as witty as Robert Englund. I’m not exactly sure that person exists.”

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But Warner Bros. has to try, and, seeing as the movie’s release date is less that 17 months away, they have to decide quickly.

As Eggertsen says in the interview, Warner Bros. should definitely go with an actor who is at least relatively unknown for the role.

“You don’t want to see the actor behind the makeup,” he said, “so maybe having someone who’s lesser-known sort of works for that character to sort of amp up the fear factor.”

He reveals that Warner Bros. was originally considering Will Poulter of We’re The Millers for the role. Poulter may have dropped out of the running when True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga split from Warner Bros. and his slated direction of the film, but there have recently been rumors circulating that Warner Bros. kept Poulter on board for the role.

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Whether Poulter portrays Pennywise or Warner Bros. decides to go with someone else, Eggertsen notes, the actor playing America’s favorite sewer-dwelling clown may want to take some inspiration from Heath Ledger’ Joker character from 2008’s The Dark Knight.

“Jack Nicholson was so great and so iconic [as the Joker] in the original Tim Burton Batman movie, and then Heath Ledger came in for The Dark Knight and did something totally different and insane with it. So maybe you don’t need someone who’s able to do exactly what Tim Curry did, but do something really different and interesting, but still terrify the hell out of us.”

Andres Muschietti, who directed 2013’s supernatural horror flick Mama, is Warner Bros’. new choice for helming Stephen King’s It. He seems like a very apt choice, too, because Muschietti has a definite vision for Warner Bros’. more modern take on the sprawling King classic authored in 1986.

“King described 50s’ terror iconography,” he told Bloody Disgusting.

“I feel there’s a whole world now to rediscover, to update. There won’t be mummies, werewolves. Terrors are going to be a lot more surprising.”

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Although a fantastic Pennywise will help Warner Bros’. movie no matter what, the It remake will hopefully be good enough to where it will awe fans regardless of who plays the big bad. Warner Bros. producer Roy Lee’s brief description of the tact Warner Bros. is taking for the film is certainly promising, says Dread Central.

“It is very close to the source material in one way but very different if you look at it as a literary piece of work. We’re taking it and making the movie from the point of view of the kids, and then making another movie from the point of view of the adults that could potentially then be cut together like the novel. But it’s gonna be a really fun way of making this movie.”

Let’s hope Warner Bros. can pull it off when they produce Stephen King’s It, which will tentatively be split into two full-length films.

Are you excited for Warner Bros. to bring us another round of Stephen King’s It and maybe even give you a little more coulrophobia? Who do you think would make a perfect Pennywise? Make yourself heard in the comments section below.

UPDATE: Variety reports that Poulter has officially dropped out of the running as a potential Pennywise because of scheduling issues. We won’t be seeing him in the nostalgic Warner Bros. adaptation, but at least he’s busy making other films!

[Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images]