The It remake has struggled to get off the ground for years, but in recent months, the project has finally started to make progress. The latest retelling of Stephen King’s classic horror tale will be split into two halves, and producer Roy Lee assured horror fans back in February that the script is geared towards being rated R. Now the movie may have found its new candidate for main antagonist Pennywise the Clown in Divergent star Bill Skarsgård.

Skarsgård is currently New Line Cinema’s top choice to play Pennywise in the new It movie. Will Poulter was originally supposed to play the demonic clown, but eventually had to leave due to scheduling conflicts. Accord to Variety’s report, the studio had a tough time deciding whether to pick a young actor, like Poulter, or go with someone older, like Hugo Weaving. Assuming this casting is legitimate, the former seems to have won. Skarsgård, who is turning 26 this August, is certainly much younger than Pennywise’s original actor, Tim Curry, who was 44 when the TV movie adaptation aired in 1990.

Bill Skarsgard Pennywise

Bill Skarsgård’s main claim to fame is playing Roman Godfrey on the TV series Hemlock Grove from 2013 to 2015, but American audiences might recognize him as Matthew in The Divergent Series: Allegiant. His resume also includes Anna Karenina, Victoria and Simon and the Oaks. While I haven’t seen any of his work, just imagining Skarsgård in the clown getup is enough to induce nightmares tonight. Whether his actual performance as Penny would meet or exceed what Curry gave audiences over two decades ago remains to be seen, though that first trailer should give us an inkling of what the new actor’s take will be like.

The original It novel (released in 1986) followed a group of children in a small town who were terrorized by Pennywise, who can exploit other people’s fears in order to hunt and kill his victims more efficiently. While It’s true form presumably looks more monstrous, it can shape shift to suit its frightening needs, and in the case of these children, a circus clown named Pennywise did the trick. Mama director Andres Muschietti will helm the It remake following Cary Fukunaga’s departure, and according to Stephen King, filming will begin soon. The first movie will follow the children’s first encounters with Pennywise, while the second half will reunite with them when they’re adults and dealing with the monster again.

The first It movie will be released in theaters on September 8, 2017, but in the meantime, let us know what you think about this latest Pennywise candidate in the comments below.

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