After years in development, Cary Fukunaga’s two-part IT adaptation has finally cast its Pennywise, which will see The Maze Runner star Will Poulter don the iconic red nose and razor sharp teeth. It’s a hell of a decision by Fukunaga and New Line, who wanted to go a different route for the character by casting someone rather young; Poulter is just 22.
The big thing here is that after considering actors like Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn, Fukunaga couldn’t say no after being blown away by Poulter’s audition for the part, which was apparently supremely creepy. And if there’s a guy who knows creepy, it’s the dude who made True Detective. It’s odd casting for sure—especially considering they could have probably chosen anyone for the role—but that’s what makes this decision so special. Poulter brought something to the table that no other actor did and I can’t wait to see how his take on the character stacks up to the great Tim Curry. And while Poulter has been in a handful of films, we still haven’t seen what this kid can really do. That’s some exciting stuff and I wish him the best of luck in filling the big shoes of Mr. Pennywise.
Because King’s original novel ran at around 900 pages, Fukunaga will smartly shoot the film in two parts—one movie focusing on the protagonists as kids and another focusing on them as adults. While they’ll obviously have to cast a separate set of actors for each film, Poulter’s Pennywise is featured in them both, making him the real star of the project.
The story follows a group of kids called the Losers Club that encounter a creature called It, which preys on children and whose favorite form is that of a sadistic clown called Pennywise. When the creature resurfaces, the kids are called upon to regroup again, this time as adults, even though they have no memory of the first battle.
Production on IT will start this summer, officially bringing Pennywise back to the big screen right where he belongs.
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