Check out the first terrifying look of Pennywise the Dancing Clown from next year’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, with Bill Skarsgård taking on the role of the most fearsome creature to ever clutch a bouquet of balloons.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane,” Skarsgård says. “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 will haunt theaters on Sept. 8, 2017.
“It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look,” says Skarsgård, best known for Allegiant and the Netflix series Hemlock Grove.
“It truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt,” the actor says. “What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny.”
When It hits screens next year, it will only tell part of the 1986 novel, following the main characters when they were children. A sequel, in which they come home again to battle It a second time as adults, is planned if this first installment is a success.
Among other alterations, the timeline has shifted from the book — it’s now set in the late ‘80s instead of the late ‘50s. We’ll see whether It’s other monstrous forms — a wolfman, a mummy, a shark among others — will change with the times.
“I’ve been doing some clown research,” Skarsgård says. “I’m not sure if there was so much clown phobia before the novel. There’s obviously been this thing where people find clowns are unsettling, but nobody explored it the way Stephen King did.”
EW reached out to the master himself for comment on the new look of one of his most iconic creations. He was suitably unsettled.
“It’s a scary clown,” King said. “But to me they’re all scary.”