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IT director Cary Fukunaga is searching for the perfect guy to play Pennywise

03.05.2015

IT Cary Fukunaga Tim Curry

Last we knew the planned big screen version of Stephen King's IT with True Detective's Cary Fukunaga behind the camera was set to start production this summer. But while speaking with the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, Fukunaga says he's still looking for the right actor to play Pennywise the Clown, who was famously played by Tim Curry in the 1990 ABC miniseries.

This will be my first movie in the US and I’m still trying to find the perfect guy to play Pennywise. It’s really good to know Stephen [King] likes what we did. We (Fukunaga and writers David Kajganich and Chase Palmer) changed names, dates (the story is originally set in the 60′s) dynamics, but the spirit is similar to what he’d like to see in cinemas, I think.

Did the "changed names and dates" part of Cary Fukunaga's comment catch your eye? Me too. It's looking the project will be a modern day take on the Stephen King novel, which means the "Goonies-esque" first film will take place around 1985. Fukunaga also says he's been working on IT for several years.

I’ve been on this project for about five years. I had already read versions of the script but nothing felt right. Everybody tried to put too much into it, telling it from the perspective of the adult and the child in a two hour movie. It didn’t fit. So I decided to throw it all away and start from scratch.

Apparently there are some people who want Tilda Swinton to play Pennywise, and in my opinion she would be absolutely fantastic, although I also think Michael Shannon would do an awesome job as the evil clown. Who would you like to see play Pennywise?

Cary Fukunaga's BEASTS OF NO NATION starring Idris Elba will likely hit Netflix later this year.

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12:16PM on 03/08/2015

The choice should be clear

Anyone that has read the book knows that there are more iterations of IT than just the clown. Standouts include the werewolf, mummy, and the "final" creature. All of these need to have the right movements and expressions come through but still tie in to each other. Who is more articulate and versed in mocap as well as vocals than Mr. Andy Serkis?
Anyone that has read the book knows that there are more iterations of IT than just the clown. Standouts include the werewolf, mummy, and the "final" creature. All of these need to have the right movements and expressions come through but still tie in to each other. Who is more articulate and versed in mocap as well as vocals than Mr. Andy Serkis?
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10:50AM on 03/06/2015
John Leguizamo did his best Tim Curry impersonation in Spawn. Maybe not a top choice and he would basically repeats his performance as Pennywise, but I always have a soft spot for that guy. He's just as underrated as Curry.
John Leguizamo did his best Tim Curry impersonation in Spawn. Maybe not a top choice and he would basically repeats his performance as Pennywise, but I always have a soft spot for that guy. He's just as underrated as Curry.
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5:59AM on 03/06/2015

Who can play Pennywise?

Rowan Atkinson. Most stateside know him solely for Mr. Bean, but Atkinson has a very diverse portfolio of roles. He has a phenomenal face and voice, and could completely nail this role.
Rowan Atkinson. Most stateside know him solely for Mr. Bean, but Atkinson has a very diverse portfolio of roles. He has a phenomenal face and voice, and could completely nail this role.
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5:05AM on 03/06/2015
There are a lot of good actors that could do it, but I really want Tim Curry to reprise the role!
There are a lot of good actors that could do it, but I really want Tim Curry to reprise the role!
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8:56AM on 03/06/2015
Tim Curry was fantastic. Very underrated actor. Also played the best version of Darkness (AKA The Devil) I have ever seen. Brilliant actor.
Tim Curry was fantastic. Very underrated actor. Also played the best version of Darkness (AKA The Devil) I have ever seen. Brilliant actor.
12:54AM on 03/06/2015
I think an actor that is considered a nice guy and you would normally trust who never plays this type of evil would be good. Therefore, I think Tom Hanks or William H. Macy. Of course after saying that Bryan Cranston would probably own this role.
I think an actor that is considered a nice guy and you would normally trust who never plays this type of evil would be good. Therefore, I think Tom Hanks or William H. Macy. Of course after saying that Bryan Cranston would probably own this role.
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10:06PM on 03/05/2015
Daniel Day Lewis
Daniel Day Lewis
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7:16PM on 03/05/2015
Do a "Cast This" article. I've been waiting for a proper adaptation of this and The Stand. I'd love to hear more suggestions and I'm digging some of these. I'd throw Sacha Baron Cohens name in the hat, just for wild card purposes.
Also you can't go with someone who has already played a creep or a villain - you'll be expecting evilness. It's got to be someone everyone likes at first and bthen ecomes an unexpected monstrous being
Do a "Cast This" article. I've been waiting for a proper adaptation of this and The Stand. I'd love to hear more suggestions and I'm digging some of these. I'd throw Sacha Baron Cohens name in the hat, just for wild card purposes.
Also you can't go with someone who has already played a creep or a villain - you'll be expecting evilness. It's got to be someone everyone likes at first and bthen ecomes an unexpected monstrous being
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4:58PM on 03/05/2015
Huh, well, I didn't know Tim had a stroke back in 2012... Might explain why he's only done voice acting since... I still say he'll be pretty hard to top as Pennywise!
Huh, well, I didn't know Tim had a stroke back in 2012... Might explain why he's only done voice acting since... I still say he'll be pretty hard to top as Pennywise!
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4:50PM on 03/05/2015
You know, the best would be to cast Tim Curry again. There really wouldn't be anything wrong with doing that. A little bit a la Robert Englund and Kane Hodder if you will. Anyway, Tim Curry was terrific as Pennywise and while someone might do a very job as well, I doubt anyone will top his performance!
You know, the best would be to cast Tim Curry again. There really wouldn't be anything wrong with doing that. A little bit a la Robert Englund and Kane Hodder if you will. Anyway, Tim Curry was terrific as Pennywise and while someone might do a very job as well, I doubt anyone will top his performance!
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4:58PM on 03/05/2015
You probably didn't see my comment below. Tim Curry suffered a major stroke and is still recovering.
You probably didn't see my comment below. Tim Curry suffered a major stroke and is still recovering.
2:12PM on 03/05/2015

Crazy idea ...

How about you hire Tim Curry? As a child he scared the shit out of me. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
How about you hire Tim Curry? As a child he scared the shit out of me. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
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4:34PM on 03/05/2015
Tim Curry had a major stroke in 2012.
Tim Curry had a major stroke in 2012.
4:57PM on 03/05/2015
He may have had a stroke, but if you read up on him, he has been performing. Can fully speak, and is said to be doing well and those reports were back in 2013. BTW "Major" might be an exaggeration on his condition. "Major Stroke" implies he's paralyzed and cannot speak.
He may have had a stroke, but if you read up on him, he has been performing. Can fully speak, and is said to be doing well and those reports were back in 2013. BTW "Major" might be an exaggeration on his condition. "Major Stroke" implies he's paralyzed and cannot speak.
5:01PM on 03/05/2015
@boomstick. Major is the word Tim Curry used himself.
@boomstick. Major is the word Tim Curry used himself.
-6
1:45PM on 03/05/2015
Jessica Alba. She's Hot.
Jessica Alba. She's Hot.
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12:43PM on 03/05/2015
Get that guy who played the Babadook, he was creepy
Get that guy who played the Babadook, he was creepy
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12:29PM on 03/05/2015

I hope he casts an unknown

I remember being scared shitless by Curry's Pennywise until I realized it was the same dude who was behind the counter in Home Alone 2. As great as Michael Shannon(ad he's probably my favourite actor at the moment) and Tilda Swinton are, you'd know it was them beneath the makeup/ Whereas an unknown could really bring the creeps I think.
I remember being scared shitless by Curry's Pennywise until I realized it was the same dude who was behind the counter in Home Alone 2. As great as Michael Shannon(ad he's probably my favourite actor at the moment) and Tilda Swinton are, you'd know it was them beneath the makeup/ Whereas an unknown could really bring the creeps I think.
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12:21PM on 03/05/2015
Considering his association with Fukunaga on True Detective, I can only hope that Woody Harrelson will be the first choice. He has both the likeability and the ability to pull off villainous intensity (Natural Born Killers, Out of the Furnace).

Plus, it allows a fresh take on the role without trying to emulate Tim Curry's iconic performance.
Considering his association with Fukunaga on True Detective, I can only hope that Woody Harrelson will be the first choice. He has both the likeability and the ability to pull off villainous intensity (Natural Born Killers, Out of the Furnace).

Plus, it allows a fresh take on the role without trying to emulate Tim Curry's iconic performance.
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12:20PM on 03/05/2015
Macauley Culkin

He looks the part, has a low salary, has name recognition, and he's a solid actor. I base his acting skills on very out dated material, but i still think he can do it. How great would it be that the clown terrorizing kids is the vision of what a child actor could become.
Macauley Culkin

He looks the part, has a low salary, has name recognition, and he's a solid actor. I base his acting skills on very out dated material, but i still think he can do it. How great would it be that the clown terrorizing kids is the vision of what a child actor could become.
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11:44AM on 03/05/2015

Hope they nail the casting

Just a few other actors that haven't been listed yet

-Crispin Glover
-Jackie Earle Haley
-John Carrol Lynch (He did a fantastic job playing Twistee The Clown in AHS)
-Steve Buscemi
Just a few other actors that haven't been listed yet

-Crispin Glover
-Jackie Earle Haley
-John Carrol Lynch (He did a fantastic job playing Twistee The Clown in AHS)
-Steve Buscemi
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11:27AM on 03/05/2015

I mentioned this already in a reply but I have to say it again:

Meryl Streep. Does anyone doubt her abilities as an actress?
Meryl Streep. Does anyone doubt her abilities as an actress?
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11:17AM on 03/05/2015
I say either William Dafoe or J.K. Simmons
I say either William Dafoe or J.K. Simmons
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11:28AM on 03/05/2015
J.K. Simmmons: yes.

Willem Dafoe: no. He's done that kind of role too much, IMO.
J.K. Simmmons: yes.

Willem Dafoe: no. He's done that kind of role too much, IMO.
11:11AM on 03/05/2015
Whoever they cast for the role has big clown shoes to fill since Tim Curry did a terrific job with the role.

I like the idea of Stanley Tucci considering the guy was creepy as hell in the Lovely Bones. And perhaps Willem DaFoe because I always found the guy to be intimidating and scary in the right role.
Whoever they cast for the role has big clown shoes to fill since Tim Curry did a terrific job with the role.

I like the idea of Stanley Tucci considering the guy was creepy as hell in the Lovely Bones. And perhaps Willem DaFoe because I always found the guy to be intimidating and scary in the right role.
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11:08AM on 03/05/2015
After reading the book, Tim Curry was the perfect interpretation of Pennywise (everything else from the TV movie? Not so much). You can't go with someone who is used to playing villians. Go with someone that is likable (much like how Curry was) then just turns into an unsuspecting monster.
After reading the book, Tim Curry was the perfect interpretation of Pennywise (everything else from the TV movie? Not so much). You can't go with someone who is used to playing villians. Go with someone that is likable (much like how Curry was) then just turns into an unsuspecting monster.
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11:46AM on 03/05/2015
Totally agree...how about someone like John C Riley? He's always been such a likable, funny guy and he's a damn good actor. I'd be interested in seeing him go crazy dark and twisted.
Totally agree...how about someone like John C Riley? He's always been such a likable, funny guy and he's a damn good actor. I'd be interested in seeing him go crazy dark and twisted.
+0
11:03AM on 03/05/2015
If they have to remake "It", then i rather have the original Pennywise, Tim Curry. He was always creepy to me and i enjoy his performances, remember the big horn guy from "Legend."
If they have to remake "It", then i rather have the original Pennywise, Tim Curry. He was always creepy to me and i enjoy his performances, remember the big horn guy from "Legend."
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11:12AM on 03/05/2015
He had a massive stroke a while back. I dont think he could do it because of health issues
He had a massive stroke a while back. I dont think he could do it because of health issues
11:38AM on 03/05/2015
Aww. Didn't hear about that.
Aww. Didn't hear about that.
10:56AM on 03/05/2015

Holy SHITEBALLS, that's a great idea :)

MICHAEL SHANNON. He should be in everything :)
MICHAEL SHANNON. He should be in everything :)
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10:54AM on 03/05/2015
Michael Keaton?
Michael Keaton?
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10:42AM on 03/05/2015

Crowley from Supernatural

How about the dude that plays Crowley from Supernatural? He has a raspy tim curryish persona.......
How about the dude that plays Crowley from Supernatural? He has a raspy tim curryish persona.......
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7:37PM on 03/05/2015
Mark Sheppard. He was one of the first people I thought of too, although I know him as Badger from Firefly/Serenity. I think he could do quite well. Good actor and can play sleazy and creepy very well. Not to mention, in my opinion he always steals the scenes he is in. He has a presence about him.
Mark Sheppard. He was one of the first people I thought of too, although I know him as Badger from Firefly/Serenity. I think he could do quite well. Good actor and can play sleazy and creepy very well. Not to mention, in my opinion he always steals the scenes he is in. He has a presence about him.
10:40AM on 03/05/2015

Acttors who I think could nail Pennywise?

Zachary Quinto. He's done well playing villains before.
Stanley Tucci. A very good choice.
Cate Blanchett. As good an actress as Tilda Swinton, and plays a great villain.
Tilda Swinton. As good an actress as Cate Blanchett, and plays a great villain.
Mark Strong. Damn, that guy can do menacing!
Alan Rickman. A little long in the tooth maybe, but can anyone doubt his capacity to scare the crap out of you?
Anthony Hopkins. See Alan Rickman.
Mark Hamill. He's known more for
Zachary Quinto. He's done well playing villains before.
Stanley Tucci. A very good choice.
Cate Blanchett. As good an actress as Tilda Swinton, and plays a great villain.
Tilda Swinton. As good an actress as Cate Blanchett, and plays a great villain.
Mark Strong. Damn, that guy can do menacing!
Alan Rickman. A little long in the tooth maybe, but can anyone doubt his capacity to scare the crap out of you?
Anthony Hopkins. See Alan Rickman.
Mark Hamill. He's known more for campy-type villain roles like Joker and Trickster, but I suspect he could bring the scary if asked.
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10:51AM on 03/05/2015
I like that you included actresses in there...it makes sense since Pennywise is not gendered specific.
I like that you included actresses in there...it makes sense since Pennywise is not gendered specific.
11:12AM on 03/05/2015
Thanks. :)

I just had another thought: Meryl Streep. One of the greatest actresses of all time, and she did villainous very well in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA.
Thanks. :)

I just had another thought: Meryl Streep. One of the greatest actresses of all time, and she did villainous very well in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA.
10:39AM on 03/05/2015

It will be a different take on the character. I am going to get downvoted like hell for this but...

I can totally see Joseph Gordon-Levitt killing that role. I can see him putting on a creepy ass voice and using his face to bring horror to the kids and the audience.
I can totally see Joseph Gordon-Levitt killing that role. I can see him putting on a creepy ass voice and using his face to bring horror to the kids and the audience.
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10:28AM on 03/05/2015
John Malkovich
John Malkovich
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10:26AM on 03/05/2015
...you know, Tim Curry is still doing pretty good for himself, you should just have him reprise the role.
...you know, Tim Curry is still doing pretty good for himself, you should just have him reprise the role.
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10:25AM on 03/05/2015
Whoever the new Pennywise will be, he's got to top Tim Curry's performance.
Whoever the new Pennywise will be, he's got to top Tim Curry's performance.
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10:17AM on 03/05/2015

Stanley Tucci

Someone else suggested Stanley Tucci for Pennywise and now I can't picture anyone else. This could be the role that takes him to the next level and he'd probably kill it.
Someone else suggested Stanley Tucci for Pennywise and now I can't picture anyone else. This could be the role that takes him to the next level and he'd probably kill it.
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10:25AM on 03/05/2015
Stanley Tucci would be a great Pennywise.
Stanley Tucci would be a great Pennywise.
10:10AM on 03/05/2015

Nobody will be able to beat Tim Curry's performance...


...and I am sceptical about this project ; it will be a hard work to adapt a that long story into one movie (sequels ?)
The TV was the perfect media for this story....
Very sceptical, but I will watch it !

...and I am sceptical about this project ; it will be a hard work to adapt a that long story into one movie (sequels ?)
The TV was the perfect media for this story....
Very sceptical, but I will watch it !
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