The terrifying being known simply as “It” from Stephen King’s It, which has haunted most people’s childhood in its most familiar form, Pennywise the Clown (played memorably by Tim Curry in the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation), has been cast for the upcoming new movie adaptation of the book…and it is without a doubt an actor far, far away from the actors you were thinking might be cast.
It’s being reported that Will Poulter, the 22-year-old British actor best known for his roles in the comedy We’re the Millers and The Maze Runner, is in negotiations to play Pennywise.
Cary Fukunaga, who directed the entire first season of HBO’s True Detective, is set to direct this new It adaptation. The current plan is to begin filming the movie sometime this summer, and King himself has given the project his blessing with a message to Fukunaga that read “Go with God, please! This is the version the studio should make.” Fukunaga also wrote the screenplay along with Chase Palmer.
When the clown appears in King’s book it’s as a middle-aged man, so it’s certainly an interesting casting choice. Curry was in his 40s at the time he played the character. But surely there’s a good reason for it. Other actors in line for the role who are closer to who fans expected to be cast included Mark Rylance (Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, The Other Boleyn Girl) and Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline, The Dark Knight Rises), but New Line wanted to go younger with the casting.
According to Variety, Poulter really impressed Fukunaga with his audition and convinced him younger could work. Poulter, who has also starred in Son of Rambow, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Wild Bill, will appear in both parts of the two-movie adaptation. The actor can next be seen in Kids in Love and starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu’s The Revenant.
It follows a group of friends who must deal with an evil entity that preys on children and can become the things that they fear most. The story takes place during two time periods, when the friends are all kids and also when they’re all adults, alternating between the two times. The movies will start with the earlier story when they’re children, and then finish with the characters as adults in the second installment.