Production is currently underway on a big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower, but another long-gestating project based on the author’s work is finally beginning to take shape. THR is reporting that Hemlock Grove star Bill Skarsgard has landed the coveted role of Pennywise the Clown in New Line Cinema’s forthcoming version of It, based on King’s landmark 1986 novel.
The two-part saga revolves around a group of teens in rural Maine who join forces to combat an evil creature. Years pass and memories fade, but the creature resurfaces several decades later, forcing the same group – now adults – to come together once again. Mama director Andy Muschietti is onboard to helm the adaptation, with the first installment focusing on the characters as children, and the second film picking up with their adult counterparts.
It was previously being developed as a vehicle for True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga, but he departed the project over creative differences with the studio. At that time, We’re the Millers star Will Poulter had been cast as the iconic, demonic clown first portrayed by Tim Curry in a 1990 TV miniseries. When Fukanaga dropped out, the film was delayed and Poulter was forced to abandon the role due to scheduling conflicts.
The son of Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, The Avengers) and younger brother of Alexander Skarskard (True Blood, The Legend of Tarzan), Bill Skarsgard has also appeared in the Divergent film series, but this will mark his first major big-screen role – as far as American audiences are concerned, anyway. He’ll be joining a cast that includes Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ant-Man), Chosen Jacobs and Jack Dylan Grazer.
It will begin shooting later this year, with the first installment eyeing a 2017 release.
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