Fresh off the set of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s revenge movie “The Revenant,” 22-year-old Will Poulter has landed the terrifying lead of Pennywise the Clown in Cary Fukunaga’s two-part adaptation of Stephen King‘s “It,” an individual familiar with the New Line project has told TheWrap.
Pennywise is a shapeshifting child murderer who dresses as a clown and terrorizes the town of Derry, Maine, where a ragtag group of kids come together to battle him as well as their own demons.
“True Detective” director Fukunaga wrote the lengthy script with Chase Palmer. One film will focus on the characters as kids, while the other will follow them as adults. The book was previously adapted as a 1991 miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise.
Dan Lin and Roy Lee are producing with KatzSmith’s David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. New Line executives Dave Neustadter and Walter Hamada will oversee the project for the studio, and production will start this summer.
While Fukunaga eyed “Bloodline” star Ben Mendelsohn for the role of Pennywise, the Australian actor wound up in the mix for a role in “Star Wars: Rogue One,” which gave Fukunaga the opportunity to go younger with the role. Poulter ended up convincing the director, who promptly offered him the coveted lead role.
Poulter is best known for starring in New Line’s “We’re the Millers” and 20th Century Fox’s “The Maze Runner.” He’s represented by WME, and his casting was first reported by Variety.