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Bill Skarsård Will Play Pennywise Again

By Andrew Sanford | TV | May 31, 2024 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | May 31, 2024 |


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Tim Curry was fantastic as Pennywise the dancing clown. Arguably the second-best thing (that score gets number one!) about the 1990 TV mini-series based on the Stephen King novel of the same name (IT), Curry brought the evil clown … fear god alien to life wonderfully. He embodied everything weird and creepy about clowns. Right down to the bad jokes. Curry’s Pennywise worked because everyone has met and possibly been creeped out by a clown like him at least once in their lives. His portrayal felt untouchable for decades (and arguably still is), but Bill Skarsgård ain’t no slouch.

Skarsgård played Pennywise in the 2017 IT film and its sequel, IT Chapter Two. His evil clown felt much less human. Where Curry seemed to play on what we know about clowns and exploit it, Skarsgård’s version seemed to have little concept of what a clown was. It’s an alien trying to imitate something it can’t quite get right, and the result is terrifying. The films end the same way the books end, so Skarsgård’s future in the role looked non-existent — until now.

Welcome to Derry is a new streaming show coming to Max that takes place in the titular town, which is also an important fixture in Stephen King’s universe. Details about the show have been scarce, but it has been in development since 2022. The director of the two most recent films, Andy Muschietti, will executive produce the show with Barbara Muschietti and Jason Fuchs. Jovan Adepo and James Remar were among several cast
last year. The show will be a prequel, set in the 1960s, which means Pennywise can and will appear.

It was announced yesterday that Bill Skarsgård will reprise Pennywise in the series, and executive produce it as well. This is a huge turn for the show. When it was announced, it was assumed that the production would include Pennywise in some capacity, but not confirmed. This not only confirms Pennywise’s presence but brings back the original actor and gives him a producer credit as well. While we don’t know how many of the nine episodes Skarsgård will appear in, given the big announcement, and the extra credit, I think we’ll be seeing quite a bit of him.

The question now is: was this the plan all along? When cast members were first announced in 2023, there was no mention of Pennywise or Skarsgård. We weren’t even sure they’d be in the show. Then, the writer’s strike happened. Now, over a year after the first casting announcement, Skarsård is not only in it but starring. It just makes sense. We’ve seen shows and movies that try to be “Batman without Batman” or “Spider-man without Spider-man,” and it never works. Derry needs Pennywise, and boy oh boy does Pennywise need Derry.