When people think of Stephen King's IT, most of them likely think of Pennywise the Dancing Clown -- whether it be Tim Curry's version, Bill Skarsgard's version, or a version from the book constructed by the reader's imagination. However, one key thing to note about Pennywise is that he is not an evil, killer clown; the clown is just the demon presenting that image to the children. In fact, on the newly-released IT Blu-ray, Bill Skarsgard specifically opened up and talked about how he wanted to dive into King's work and emphasize the notion of playing a demon who's playing a clown. Skarsgard explained:
It mentions in the novel somewhere, Pennywise is IT's favorite form. He really enjoys doing the clown, so that was something that I wanted to play up as well, that he's having fun while he's doing this... You're playing an entity that's playing a clown, so it's like these kinds of steps, and I wanted to get that into the character that there's kind of glitches almost. That it's not just a clown, it's something off. Something weirder. Something even more sinister. I wanted to create this feeling that you never know what's going to happen the clown's around.
The idea of the evil, killer clown has become something that's reasonably ingrained in our collective sense of pop culture. That is why the real-life clown sightings from 2016 became such a phenomenon. However, one central idea from the IT novel that Bill Skarsgard felt needed to be captured was the emphasis on Pennywise as a projection of a much darker and more sinister entity. The demon very much enjoys playing the clown, but there are little ticks and "glitches" in his movement to make it clear that he is most certainly not just a man in makeup.
This idea of exploring Pennywise as a monster masquerading as something else seems like it will receive even further exploration in the next film. We still don't know much about IT: Chapter 2 (which is currently in development and aiming for a 2019 release), but we do know that it will spend more time examining the mythology behind the demonic entity as we following the older incarnation of The Losers Club upon their return to Derry. We have seen the demon as it would look to children, but now it's time to start thinking about how that killer clown will tailor itself to older versions of The Losers 27 years later.
IT is now available on Digital HD and Blu-ray, so make sure to pick up your copy of Andy Muschietti's long-awaited Stephen King adaptation and check out our 2018 movie premiere guide so that you can mark down your calendars with all of the other major horror releases on the horizon. As for the future of the IT franchise, IT: Chapter 2 will hit theaters on September 6, 2019!