‘It’ Director Reveals Inspiration Behind the New Pennywise

“I wanted to bring that look to him because he might be made of children’s imagination,” Andy Muschietti said

Pennywise IT

If Pennywise gives you the creeps and “It” hasn’t even been released yet, you’re not alone.

The Pennywise from the 1990 TV adaptation of “It” had a distinctive look, so the version that graces the screen in the 2017 film version is a bit jarring.

In an interview with The Guardian, Andy Muschietti detailed his longtime love of Stephen King’s works and how he used that to craft the upcoming movie, including how he wanted the new Pennywise — played by Bill Skarsgård — to look. His goal was to make the famous clown monster similar to what a child’s version of an evil clown might look like.

In King’s book, the young character of Bill Denbrough said, “What if this monster is eating kids because that’s what we’re told monsters do?” That passage stuck with Muschietti and is the seed that grew into his vision of Pennywise.

“It might be a case of, ‘this character is alive as long as it’s alive in the imagination of children,’” Muschietti said. “My first sketches of the clown were very childlike. I wanted to bring that look to him because he might be made of children’s imagination.”

Muschietti was a little older than the Losers were by the time he read the novel for the first time. For the uninitiated, the Losers Club are the group of preteens that work to find Pennywise’s home in the sewers of Derry, Maine.

“I wanted to communicate the feeling of intimacy and innocence of the Losers. It wasn’t that difficult,” he said. “It’s almost like smelling; those smells that stay with you for so long.”

Tim Curry, who played the original Pennywise, told The Guardian, “Pennywise always understood what each character was scared of, and provided it. And I could see what fun it would be to be that scary.”

To this day, Curry still gets remembered for that role. “I went out to dinner last night, and I’m currently in a wheelchair because I had a stroke five years ago. And a guy saw me and stood up and said, ‘I’ve seen the original Pennywise!’ And I said, ‘Well, good for you.’”