You’ll Never Guess Who They Just Cast as Pennywise the Clown…

Pennywise The Clown Tim Curry Stephen King It Will Poulter

Stephen King’s It is one of the horror maestro’s most frightening novels, thanks in large part to the malevolent Pennywise the Clown, an embodiment of pure fear that terrorizes the small town of Derry, Maine. So when the time came to adapt It into a 1990 TV mini-series, the filmmakers went the obvious route, and cast the iconic character Tim Curry, who added yet another timeless performance to his long list of credits, which had already included The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Legend.

But it’s an all-new century, and that means we’ll get an all-new Pennywise in the upcoming two-part remake of It. And since these new films are directed by True Detective helmsman Cary Fukunaga, we thoroughly expected him to go in an interesting direction with one of the most frightening bogeymen of the last 100 years. So who did he choose? Was it a famous comedian playing against type? A respected Shakespearean actor with a flair for classical villainy? A well-known star looking to remake his image, a la Matthew McConaughey?

None of the above. The new Pennywise the Clown is actually… Will Poulter, the 22-year-old star of We’re the Millers.

Pennywise the Clown Will Poulter We're the Millers

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Uh… huh.

Well, that’s different, isn’t it? Poulter is barely older than the heroes of Stephen King’s It, half of which take place while Pennywise’s victims are in high school. The other half takes place when the heroes are middle-aged and returning to Derry to confront their childhood fears, so discovering that those fears are still embodied by a youthful demon might add an interesting wrinkle to this new version of It. Both halves of the story are being turned into their own movie, turning It into a two-part horror movie event, with Will Poulter now situated as the star of both.

So does Poulter have the chops? Cary Fukunaga obviously thinks so, and since he’s no slouch, we’re willing to trust him. Variety reports that the filmmaker was “blown away” by Will Poulter’s audition, but audiences have certainly never seen anything like Pennywise from the young actor thus far, apart from a villainous turn in last year’s The Maze Runner, which was… well, it was okay but was it really Pennywise good?

We’ll find out when It comes out, whenever that is. No release date has yet been announced.

 


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.