With news breaking recently that Cary Fukunaga’s take on It is set to start shooting this summer, horror fans have been all over the place as far as their level of interest in the project. It certainly is one of the more intriguing remake projects out there and Fukunaga is an even more intriguing choice for director after his phenomenal take on season one of True Detective. Stephen King purists like myself will insist that there be a lot less cheese and a lot more horror in this adaptation, and from everything I’ve read, Fukunaga seems to be promising just that.
Of course, the most memorable aspect of the 1990 mini-series besides John Ritter’s awesome beard was the one and only Pennywise. The nightmare-inducing alien/clown/all things evil is still sneering from the Mount Rushmore of Horror and ALL of that credit goes to the man behind the makeup, Mr. Tim Curry.
Besides the white gloves and eerily simplistic makeup, there are some other prerequisites that go along with playing this seminal character. Personally, I’d prefer an actor who has either extensive background in stage and screen or an actor who has yet to have a major role in a major Hollywood production. Because Pennywise is just as terrifying when he opens his mouth as when he doesn’t and body language is going to be everything. I’d also appreciate a man who has the body frame to seemingly fit and slither into just about any nook and cranny, because let’s face it- what’s scarier than a demented clown? A clown that can pop up out of anywhere. From Fukunaga, I demand a Pennywise that is completely free of CGI enhancement. Above all else, this will be the ultimate deal-breaker for me. Costume, makeup and prosthetics. That’s all you need. Make it happen, Mr. Fukunaga.
Everyone will argue that you simply cannot replace Mr. Curry in what may very well be his most memorable role but it’s a simple fact that he must be filled in for. With that in mind, I decided to rattle off a few names that I would love to see done the bright red wig. (P.S. – that was Tim Curry’s real hair, just teased to holy hell, so bonus points to anyone who may be able to pull that off)
Not only does Serkis resemble Curry, but he’s also a hell of an actor who can dominate a performance without saying a word. So imagine the firepower he’d bring to the role with such classic dialogue as “I’ll drive you crazy and I’ll kill you all!”! Serkis has been an ape, a bigger ape and a cave-dwelling, ring-obsessed creeper. Why not add demented clown to that list? Yes, Serkis has been a part of some of the biggest blockbusters in recent cinema history, but he hasn’t done much as far as non-CGI films go.
Not only is he a contortionist, he’s brought some of the most famous characters in recent fantasy film to life (Abe Sapian in the Hellboy series and The Faun and The Pale man in Pan’s Labyrinth). Jones is quite tall (6-4) but imagine his body twisting and bending in unholy ways. The only thing that would make that scarier is if you dressed him up as a clown. Oh wait….
One of the most recognizable actors of his generation with a laundry list of credits to his name, one thing that is missing from his resume is that “ultimate role”, the gig that makes his name synonymous with a character. What better creature to portray than Pennywise to cement your name in horror lore until the end of time? He’s been known to play a character with a few crayons missing in the ol’ crayon box in his day, too..
If you’ve seen Doomsday, you know what kind of psychotic freak Mr. Conway can portray. One mustn’t ignore the Crazy Factor in this role. Those dark, empty eyes aren’t burning into your soul yet? Conway is one slick mofo who would undoubtedly rain nightmares down on children everywhere if we threw a red nose on him.
David Hyde Pierce
This is, without a doubt, my favorite fan casting suggestion of all-time. It’s quite a stretch, considering Pierce seems to prefer staying out of the limelight but a dude can dream, can’t he? He has the ability to display the twisted charisma necessary for the role and his body type fits the role, in my opinion. Not to mention, he’s another consummate professional who would lend his fantastic skill set to one of the greatest characters in horror film history.
As summer nears, one thing is for certain- we are getting a new It movie and it promises to be more vicious and true to the original material than it’s twenty-five year old counterpart. What we don’t know is who is going to play everyone’s favorite blood-thirsty clown. So long as we don’t get another Jackie Earle Haley/Freddy Krueger disaster… so help us, God…
So let’s hear what you think! Flame me, suggest your personal favorites, discuss what makes the perfect Pennywise- leave your comments below!