Though the original two part TV movie of Stephen King’s It has aged quite horrifyingly, it still remains terrifying to me based on the fact that I was way too young when I first saw it. 9 years old made me younger than the kids in the story being terrorised by Tim Curry’s nightmarish creation; Pennywise the dancing clown.
In fact it’s probably true to say that most modern day fears of clowns have come as a direct result of It.
Well the latest news is that the long gestating remake has been given some legs thanks to Warner Brothers passing the film to its New Line division. This is reported to have come as an initiative to turn New Line into a horror oriented label (something it has been known for over the years). Word has it that the story will again be split into two parts, which is good news for fans of the book who know just how massive a tome it is; it really does deserve a fully fleshed out story.
There’s no more word than that at the moment, other than to say True Detective director Cary Fukunaga is still very much in line to be the man behind the cameras when they begin rolling. Given the often chilling and always creepy-as-hell nature of True Detective I have total faith that Fukunaga can turn King’s masterpiece into a genuinely scary pair of films.
So who do you think should take Tim Curry’s legendary mantle and attempt to reboot Pennywise for a modern generation?
Here are some of the names we thought of.
One of THE great character actors. He is known for his chameleon like ability to transform from one role to the next. You only have to look at the difference between his performance in Captain America as the mild mannered German scientist Dr Abraham Erskine and then compare it to his nightmarish realisation of child predator George Harvey in The Lovely Bones to see just how effective he could be under the Pennywise makeup.
Haley has such a great face for this kind of work. I don’t mean that as an insult, I think it’s fantastic that he can pull off scary, quirky and insane all with the same visage. His roles as Rorschach (Watchmen), George Noyce (Shutter Island) and Freddy Krueger in the Elm Street reboot have proven he can carry the intimidation, the skin crawling terror and the raw power you would associate with the very best horror movie villains.
To be fair I don’t think there’s a role Paul Giamatti can’t play to absolute perfection. But I think his perfect use of disapproving sarcasm in films like Shoot Em Up, along with his manic rage (as seen best in Ironclad) would make him the great contrast of humour to horror that gave Tim Curry’s performance such gravitas.
This one is based on two performances that when you add them up, pretty much make up everything that Pennywise is. Shearsmith’s darkly comic role as the clown Mr Jelly in Psychoville and his recent turn in the brilliantly chilling The Widower showed both his comic genius, dramatic depth and his ability to portray someone utterly detached from humanity. I’m sure Shearsmith is a wildcard on this list, but hey, stranger things have happened.
If all else fails why not go back to the man who made the original film the cult classic it is today? Curry’s depiction of Pennywise was easily the best thing in the 1990 movies and was also the thing that brought it closest to King’s original material. Curry has been little seen on screen since the announcement of health issues in 2012. But word is that he is on the road to recovery and this could be the perfect vehicle to bring him back to the attention of the world.
What do you think? Who could you see as being the perfect Pennywise? Let us know in the comments below.