It is one of the most beloved of Stephen King’s works, and the 1990s mini-series starring Tim Curry is held in similar esteem. As such, the decision to remake the classic into a feature film has baffled some. The new look of its iconic villain has put some of those doubts to rest
Bill Skarsgård is set to take over as the terrifying clown, and his costume is a deviation from the colorful American style of the 1990s film. In an image released by Entertainment Weekly, the costume looks much older and darker, with an Elizabeth-style ruff and Harlequin design. Director Andy Muschietti, whose only other directing credit was for the 2013 horror film Mama, appears to be going for a darker tone than its mini-series predecessor. The costume doesn’t hide Skarsgård’s youth, making him look like Alex from A Clockwork Orange if he had a clown phase.
The story follows a group of young children in a small Maine town being tormented by an evil clown with their worst fears. Years later, the group must confront their childhood tormentor as adults. Pennywise the Dancing Clown, originally portrayed by legendary actor Tim Curry, is an otherworldly being whose true form is that of a giant spider. Curry played the part with a mix of intense hatred, buoyancy, and a whimsical cruelty that left many audiences terrified of clowns for life. Originally, Warner Bros. Studios originally planned for the film to be in two parts, with the first solely depicting the first half of the book when the protagonists are children.
There is speculation that the remake is meant to create buzz for the other Stephen King adaptation coming to theaters, The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, as the two books exist in the same universe and share a loose connection. The film will be released in theaters on September 8th, 2017.