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It director explains why Will Poulter dropped out of the film

With one week left to go until IT's release Bill Skarsgard is already making waves for his performance as Pennywise, with critics saying he’s even more terrifying than they thought a demon clown could be. But before Skarsgard put on the orange wig the name Will Poulter was attached to the role. Poulter, unfortunately, had to bow out of the project, and now director Andres Muschietti has opened up about a meeting the two had about the job:

During a lengthy interview with Deadline, Muschietti spoke about how Poulter was still interested in the role even after the movie’s original director, Cary Fukunaga, had left the project. However, over time it seems Poulter had a change of heart when it came to playing such an evil character:

But I was very, very intrigued by the prospect of working with Will, I always thought that he would be an amazing Pennywise. We talked a little bit about it, the idea of making the movie even though that Cary wasn’t there. Will basically expressed a feeling that he had slowly disengaged from playing that character, that was so dark and terrifying. It was a personal decision I respected, but I was eager and willing to find my own Pennywise and that’s what we did.

Muschietti eventually found his Pennywise, and in Skarsgard, the director found a quality about him that made him perfect for IT: his ability to go from cute to sinister at the flip of a switch:

I wanted to reach a balance between a character that is a trickster and a monster. The sole fact that he incarnates a clown is terrifying because it’s like bait. And there is nothing worse; it’s not an honest approach in killing someone. He is tricking someone into something horrible, and I wanted to convey that. It was why in part that I wanted to work with Bill. He has that balance. He can be sweet and cute and good looking. But in the turn of a wink, he can do something, a gesture that gives an unsettling feeling. The character is very childlike, too. He has the buckteeth. That’s what I wanted to convey, that balance between a sweet and cute creature, with something very dark behind it.

The early reactions to IT have been stellar, with tons of praise being showered onto Skarsgard. Poulter is a real talent, and probably would’ve made a terrifying Pennywise, but in the end, there was a silver lining to him turning down the role. Hey, at least now he can say he didn't contribute to the nightmares of millions of people.

IT arrives September 8.

Source: Deadline

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