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The Surprising Actor The IT Movie Wanted To Play Pennywise

Tilda Swinton Okja

This September, clowns will once again be at the forefront of nightmares as the adaptation of IT finally hits the screen. Bill Skarsgard plays Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the movie and he looks satisfyingly terrifying in the role, but that doesn't mean he didn't have competition for the part. Before Skarsgard claimed the role for himself, production was considering a list of actors to play the frightening villain. While we don't know everyone who was considered, we know they at one point sought out none other than Tilda Swinton for Pennywise.

I swear to God. We had a slot to shoot the movie and she wasn't available, so she didn't even audition. But of course, we all thought about her.

When it came to casting Pennywise in IT, no stone was left unturned. As producer Barbara Muschietti tells it to Nerdist in a set visit to the movie, "literally hundreds" of people auditioned for the part. And they looked at anyone, regardless of gender or age to find just the right actor to bring their interpretation to life. Even experienced big name actors who don't audition anymore had to audition. Obviously, Bill Skarsgard took the gold with his own take on the shape-shifting clown, but Muschietti revealed that Tilda Swinton was one of the people they wanted to audition. Swinton's schedule didn't allow her to do that, but she was a top pick nonetheless.

And you know what? I totally get it. Tilda Swinton is pretty much the closest thing humans have to a shape-shifter; the Oscar-winning actress possessing some sort of otherworldly quality that allows her to transform for whatever role she has. She could absolutely be a child-eating clown if she wanted and it would have been an interesting direction to take Pennywise in. He'd likely be no less scary than Bill Skarsgard's interpretation, though, as, just based on trailers alone, Skarsgard seems to have been a good choice.

IT is based on the classic Stephen King novel of the same name. Taking place across three decades in the small town of Derry, Maine, a group of children in the '50s confronts the secret literal evil lurking beneath the town. A shape-shifting monster known only as IT is preying on children and the Losers' Club is the only thing capable of freeing Derry from IT for good. The film is directed by Andrés Muschietti and stars Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, and Bill Skarsgard.

IT is set to release in theaters on September 8, 2017. For all the latest updates on the biggest releases, make sure to keep checking in with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated on more information as it becomes available.

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.