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IT director Andres Muschietti talks Bill Skarsgard's terrifying Pennywise

03.13.2017by: Mike Sprague

As we all know by now, Andres Muschietti, director of the new take on STEPHEN KING'S IT, was at the SXSW Film Festival this past weekend. I already shared with you guys a rundown on the teaser trailer and 5-minute scene he showcased, but he also had quite about to say about the film.

Below are some choice quotes from the interview he conducted, along with ANNABELLE 2 director David Sandberg, where Muschietti delves into such topics as Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise and Stephen King's thoughts on the film.

Andres Muschietti on Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise:

What I can tell you is that he is terrifying, and there was a lot of work involved in bringing a new version of that character to life. The work I did with Bill Skarsgård was great, and he was amazing and a very impressive, talented, sweet young man.

On keeping Skarsgard away from the kids before filming:

We tried to keep Bill away from the kids as much as possible, and there’s of course that first moment of confrontation, but I tried to delay that as much as possible. He was with them for the read-through, but then that was it, and all the kids were like, “It’s okay, he’s not going to scare us,” but that first day he got onto the stage, they fucking freaked out. I can’t even describe how scary he looked in person.

On adapting the novel into a film, and added in material not present it the novel or the 1990 mini-series

My first instinct was to basically be true to my own emotional experience with the book. I read it when I was a kid, so it was all about me trying to hit the core and the heart of the story, and the characters, too. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but you will notice that the story swerves into different directions. The arc of the Losers' Club is a bit wider in range, and you will notice there are things that happen to them in this movie that weren’t in the book or in the 1990 miniseries. So I think it’ll be a refreshing experience for fans, and a terrifying one, too.

On the dread of Pennywise:

One of the choices I made as a director was that I wanted to make the sense of dread that grows in Derry part of the dread of Pennywise. He’s not just a character that can shape-shift, his influence is all around. The anticipation of him is almost scarier than the actual Pennywise scares.

On Stephen King's response to the film:

I grew up admiring Stephen King and reading his stories, and he’s a big part of me as a person and as a filmmaker. It was very, very humbling to get his response [to the film]. It was a tear-jerking moment. 

Wow. As you can see the man shared a ton of great bits and pieces with the SXSW audience. I would have loved to have been in that interview and heard all of this first-hand. Alas, reading it here is almost as good. As long as we hear it eventually, right?

As always, I will continue my mission here at AITH to keep you guys up-to-date on every bit of STEPHEN KING'S IT news I hear come down the sewer pipe.

STEPHEN KING'S IT: Part I scares us to death September 8th.

Extra Tidbit: Who would you cast as the adult versions of The Loser's Club?
Source: Daily Dead

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