Stephen King’s IT is arguably one of his most iconic books, largely due to its villain Pennywise. Pennywise himself is a shapeshifter who takes on the look of his victims’ biggest fears, but he’s best known for his default look of a clown, as portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1990s miniseries.
This particular look for the character has since gone on to be just as iconic as the book itself, despite the large number of people who have not seen the series itself. It’s risen above being just a show and into the pop culture zeitgeist. With something like that, it’s always hard to make changes, as audiences generally always go in with their own preconceived notions on what a character should be. Such is the case with IT’s Pennywise the clown.
Some months ago, the look of Pennywise in the upcoming adaptation was revealed, and to call the look a controversial one would probably be accurate. A lot of folks hated the 1800s-style attire, and many had opinions as to whether or not the clown should, by default, look as creepy as the new version does. So why did they go this way? What’s wrong with sticking to a look similar to the one in the 1990s series?
Speaking with Collider, IT director Andy Muschietti answered that very question, saying:
“Well, the fact that this entity has been around for thousands of years… I’m more drawn— I never— aesthetically, I don’t dig the 20th century clown. I think it looks cheap, and it’s too related to social events and stuff and circus and stuff, which circus is fine, but I’m more aesthetically attracted to the old time, like the 19th century clown. And given that this guy has been around for centuries, I wondered myself why, why not, having an upgrade that was 1800s.”
I have to say, I personally agree with his perspective on clowns, and with Pennywise. I like the idea that a creature that’s centuries old would actually settle into a form, even if it’s not quite the modern take on something we all know about. Of course, one could argue that this goes counter to Pennywise’s desire to look appealing to the kids in the clown guise, but from a purely aesthetic look, I have to say that I prefer the new one.
But what about you? Do you think changing the look was a good choice, or do you wish they would have stuck with a more modern clown look? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Stephen King’s IT hits theaters on September 8, 2017.