Stephen King’s ‘It’ is making clowns terrifying again.
But where did Pennywise come from?
According to Bill Skarsgard – who stars as Pennywise in the new movie – a disturbing flashback was filmed… and explains exactly where Pennywise came from.
“There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise],” he told Variety. “The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I’m not the clown. I look more like myself. It’s very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from.”
Of course, there are hints of Pennywise the Dancing Clown’s origin story throughout the movie – in particular, those creepy textbook appearances in Ben’s historical research. But the ‘disturbing’ flashback was ultimately cut… and so we’re left with tantalizingly few details.
But that may be something we go back to in ‘Chapter Two’.
“That might be something worth exploring in the second one,” Skarsgard added. “The idea is the ‘It’ entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that.”
Early drafts of the new adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘It’ have already been scrutinised by the online film community… and featured a number of similar flashbacks.
Written by Cary Fukunaga (who departed the production in 2015) one draft originally featured scenes of Pennywise in the 1800s, ‘playing a saloon piano in the 1800s to spur on violence’ as well as a sequence set in colonial times where ‘It devours a child’.
Presumably, these scenes were used to build up the mythos of Pennywise.
And to sell him as a creature who has survived the ages, coming out to feast every 27 years.
But while the flashback scene may have been cut from the final film, there’s a chance it may still see the light of day in the upcoming sequel. As well as some of the more existential parts of the novel.
“The book is very abstract and metaphysical about what it means to exist and the idea of fantasy and imagination and all of these things,” explained Skarsgard. “I think that could be cool to explore as well. It’s like, what is Pennywise? He only exists in the imagination of children. If you don’t believe him to be real then he might not be real. There’s an interesting aspect to explore there.”
Stephen King’s ‘IT’ stars Bill Skarsgård, Finn Wolfhard, Megan Charpentier, Nicholas Hamilton, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophie Lillis, Steven Williams and Owen Teague.
Andrés Muschietti directed the film, based on a script by Gary Dauberman, Chase Palmer, and Cary Fukunaga.
Stephen King’s ‘IT’ opens in cinemas on 8 September 2017.