It may have taken awhile, but the reboot of Stephen King’s It is finally moving forward, and we now have our first look at the newly revamped Pennywise costume, which is worn by Tim Curry’s replacement, Bill Skarsgard. The new look for Pennywise seems drab and less colorful on the surface, making King fans wonder just how loyal this new It adaptation will be to the source material. While it seems as though there is little to be gleaned on the surface, the darker Pennywise look foretells a supernatural villain that may be more in line with the original Stephen King work than the 1990 made-for-television miniseries.
Pennywise Makes His Debut In A New Image From The It Reboot
For fans of the book and the It miniseries from 1990, it’s well known that the villain of this story is really an unnamed supernatural evil entity, but the being takes such a tremendous liking to the Pennywise the Dancing Clown persona that it adopts that manifestation permanently. Entertainment Weekly spoke to costume designer Janie Bryant, who has won Emmy awards for her work on such television series as Deadwood and Mad Men, to get the inside scoop on why the new version of Pennywise is so much darker, and why that will work so well in the updated It.
In developing the new look for It‘s villain, Ms. Bryant says she wanted something timeless. She created an outfit that told the story of a being who has existed throughout many past lives and was something otherworldly. Janie says she went with the idea of an awkward fit for the costume to give Pennywise the look of a doll. The short pants, the misfitting top, and the high boots all give the character a child-like look, while Bill Skarsgard’s evil grin and make-up provide a chilling reminder that this clown is anything but innocent.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane,” Skarsgard says about the It character. “It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he’s not even human. He’s not even a clown. I’m playing just one of the beings It creates…It truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt. What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny.”
Reinventing It And Pennywise For Modern Day Audiences
Coming Soon shares one of the biggest changes in the It adaptation that will change the setting as it was established in Stephen King’s novel and in the 1990 miniseries. When It debuts in theaters, the two-part film will take place in the present day with the protagonists’ childhood memories taking place in the 80s. As King wrote it, the novel takes place in the 80s with the childhood experiences having taken place in the 1950s.
Also varying slightly from the 1990 miniseries, the new It reboot will place far greater emphasis on those childhood years and the children’s experiences in fighting Pennywise that first time before the old gang is called back to present day Derry to again protect the town from the terrible menace. Casting for the younger version of the It protagonists has brought in Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special) as Bill Denbrough, Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) as Richie Tozier, Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh, Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) as Stanley Uris, Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Eddie Kaspbrak, Chosen Jacobs (Hawaii Five-0) as Mike Hanlon, and Jeremy Ray Taylor (42) as Ben Hanscom.
As might be expected, part one of It will focus on the childhood years of this group, dubbed The Losers Club, and follow them as they come together as friends and eventually end up fighting It. Part two of It will follow King’s book by picking up the story 28 years later as the adults are called back to Derry to fulfill the promise made those many years ago. As Pennywise begins killing anew, The Losers Club reunites to take It on.
Stephen King’s It Part One will premiere in theaters on September 8, 2017.
[Image via New Line Cinema]