“Hello Georgie!” Two words – spoken with a definite growl – that strike fear into children, young adults, as well as the fully grown who took in Tim Curry’s terrifying performance as Pennywise the clown in the two part mini series Stephen King’s It (1990). The original made-for-tv movie had so much of an impact that the term ‘coulrophobia’ (fear of clowns) is now one that no longer brings with it frowns but knowing shudders (“yup, that’s me, ever since I watched “It”!).
Like the titular character of Stephen King’s novel, 27 years later It (2017) is here. Back again to scare the town of Derry, Maine, as well as allowing a generation to relive and rekindle that fear, alongside a new generation.
Here’s 10 of the the most interesting things you (probably) didn’t know about It (2017)
The Duffer Brothers originally wanted to direct the movie, but were overlooked as they were not “established” at that point. They’ve certainly made it now, however, as they moved on to devise the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things (2016), which co-stars Finn Wolfhard (Richie) and is very clearly influenced by Stephen King.
When Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard) is in the “clown room”, there is a mannequin dressed as the 1990 mini-series version of Pennywise the Clown, famously portrayed by Tim Curry, sitting on the floor (left side of the screen). Wolfhard concedes that he has a fear of clowns – known as coulrophobia – so this scene must have been a living nightmare to shoot!
Director Andy Muschietti has confirmed that Bill Skarsgård speaks in Swedish at times when playing the character Pennywise the clown, so if there are words here or there that you can’t quite fathom, that’s probably the reason. That, or you can’t hear properly because your heart’s beating so hard.
There were some rumours that Bill Skarsgård would not be returning to play Pennywise the clown in any sequels over worries that the part was having a negative impact on his mental health. However, a week before the film was released, Skarsgård confirmed that he was officially attached to the next film in the series and had already began meeting with Andrés Muschietti to discuss ideas for the character and the film.
Bill Skarsgård was actually the 4th actor offered the role of Pennywise the clown. Tim Curry was offered the chance to reprise the role during early development, but turned it down. Ben Mendelsohn was also offered the part and showed interest, but turned it down over a disagreement on salary. Will Poulter accepted the role but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts which pushed the movie back a year. This culminated in Skarsgård being offered the role, and the rest is history.
Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti fought hard (with the support of the producers) to put more scenes from the novel back into the story for It (2017). The Smoke-Hole scene was demanded but the studio deemed it too expensive. Andy was able to put back the majority of the scenes he asked for, such as Eddie’s encounter with his ultimate fear, the Leper.
In an effort to get the child actors to bond, It (2017) director Andres Muschietti had them doing 10 days of activities together. They actually held a “bicycle camp” because, he says, “kids today don’t necessarily know how to ride bikes.” The result was they all became good friends and they were all able to ride bikes for the movie of course, another nod to Stranger Things (2016) as well as Stand By Me (1986)
Marlon Taylor, Jarrod Blanchard and Brandon Crane, who played the respective roles of Mike, Henry and Ben in made-for-tv movie Stephen King’s It (1990), all reached out to the new actors for this film (Chosen Jacobs for Taylor, Nicholas Hamilton for Blanchard and Jeremy Ray Taylor for Crane) and spoke to them. They all went on to voice their approval of their younger counterparts 27 years after the original was released.
The “Slideshow” scene where Pennywise slowly reveals himself by taking control of the projected slides is a reference to “The Sun Dog”, a Stephen King novella. In it, a mangy and increasingly aggressive dog is revealed through a series of Polaroid photos before leaping out and attacking the book’s protagonists, just as Pennywise does in this scene, jumping out of the projector screen, haunched and barking like a dog before attacking the kids in the garage.
Bill admitted that he was so into his performance as Pennywise that he would have constant nightmares during production.
Whilst a huge fan of Tim Curry, and specifically Curry’s iconic turn as Pennywise 27 years prior, Skarsgård confirme that he did not want to incorporate any of Curry’s work into his own depiction of the clown, because he felt that he could not “do Tim Curry anywhere near as well as Curry himself did” and he didn’t want his performance to become muddied by association or providing a similar performance.
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MAIN SOURCE: It (2017) IMDB Trivia