Pennywise

The film festivals may be a-rockin' but the movie that's been dominating the conversation for the last two weeks is IT. The horror movie earned $120 million in its first weekend and with some great reviews and word of mouth blowing its sails, IT's all set to be No. 1 for the second week in a row. Thanks to Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise, a whole new generation is set to fear clown's but there was originally going to be even more of Pennywise in the film. A scene was cut from IT that would have been a flashback that elaborated a bit on the clown's origins. According to Skarsgard...

There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise]. 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. That might be something worth exploring in the second one. The idea is the 'It' entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that.

Unlike the Stephen King book on which it's based, IT largely forgoes offering any concrete explanation of Pennywise and where he comes from. Most of that may be saved for the sequel, but IT was originally planning to tease one of the earliest days of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Bill Skarsgard was on the Playback Podcast discussing the daunting task of playing such an unsettling character and the success of the film. While Skarsgard doesn't want there to be anything as unnecessary as a Pennywise origin movie, he does hope that the sequel can further explore where the clown comes from. IT almost ended up doing that by shooting a scene that was set in the 1600s (Skarsgard later says it might have been the 1700s) before It had taken the appearance of a clown.

The IT novel features several flashback scenes, but none of them directly focus on Pennywise. They mostly show different eras of the town of Derry, in which some sort of horrible tragedy takes place because of IT's influence. For instance, a gang of bank robbers gets shot to death by practically every single person in Derry. Pennywise is present in the background for all of these scenes, but it sounds like the movie would have pointed the spotlight on him a bit more. Plus, I'm pretty sure that there is no scene in the book set in the early 1700s (when Derry is founded), so it would have been entirely new territory for the movie.

A sequel to IT could always end up including this scene if they so choose. The sequel, which will feature the Losers Club as adults, is expected to be darker than the first movie and seeking some A-list talent. There's no official release date, but you can watch IT in theaters right now.

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