It movie director

Warner Bros has been trying to remake Stephen King‘s It for over seven years now. Last year, Mama director Andrés Muschietti replaced Cary Fukunaga, who had left over creative differences with the studio. And now it seems like the adaptation/remake is actually happening as casting is being locked down as we speak. Find out who will play Pennywise the Clown and more, after the jump.

Bill Skarsgard

It Casting: Bill Skarsgard is Pennywise the Clown

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop: Hemlock Grove star Bill Skarsgard is in final negotiations to join the project as the iconic evil clown Pennywise. The film’s cast already includes St. Vincent actor Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor.

The plan is still to film the adaptation in two parts, with the first movie telling the kids’ story and the second movie jumping to the story of them as adults. The new version was written by Gary Doberman with Muschietti. Producer Roy Lee has promised the new films will have an R-rating. Skarsgard is the son of actor Stellan Skarsgard and the brother Alexander Skarsgard. Bill has appeared in the Netflix horror television series Hemlock Grove as well as Divergent series films Allegiant and the upcoming Ascendant.

Will Poulter was in line to play Pennywise when Fukunaga was directing the project. Fukunaga had written the scripts for both It movies with Chase Palmer but the director reportedly butted heads with the studio about his vision for the project, following budget cuts instituted by New Line. Among other things, the studio took issue with Fukunaga’s insistence on shooting in New York instead of a cheaper location. New Line also wanted a single, more commercial movie. You can read Fukunaga’s comments on how his version of the film fell apart here. The studio was also made nervous by the disappointing opening weekend performance of Fox’s Poltergeist, in part because the marketing campaign also featured a clown.

When I was younger, I read a lot of Stephen King books. Over the years, Hollywood has turned a lot of King’s library of work into crappy horror adaptations — The Shining and the original Carrie might be the two exceptions. For a writer known primarily as a horror novelist, it’s surprising that the movie adaptations of his non-horror stories, like Green Mile, Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption, are probably better known, and definitely more revered.

But if you asked me when I was 11 years old what my favorite Stephen King movie was, I would quickly tell you — the 1990 television miniseries adaptation of It. It scared me, it kept me up, and I loved it. I remember rewatching the VHS copy that I had recorded off of cable, over and over again.

The paperback edition of It is 1,104 pages, and the miniseries clocked in over 3 hours, at 192 minutes. The official book description follows: “They were just kids when they stumbled upon the hidden horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.” The book is available for around $9 on Amazon.

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