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IT Pennywise The Clown Tim Curry Bill Skarsgård

IT’s Pennywise The Clown: 1990 vs. 2017

After this year’s IT movie adaptation of Stephen King‘s popular novel came out, there were instant debates over whether or not the film was better than the 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry. While Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown is considered iconic, Bill Skarsgård is said to have the better film.

A video from WatchMojo goes into some very deep analysis, and ultimately picks who they deem to have the better performance:

Bill Skarsgård and Tim Curry have both commented on each other’s performances, with Curry praising Skarsgård:

“Well, I like [Bill] Skarsgard very much, I think he’s very clever. It’ll be interesting what sort of clown face he puts on, because it’s not an obvious clown face at all. I’ve seen the trailer and you can’t really see him at all. So I’m fascinated to see it. He’s very good.”

He added:

“I hope they make the ending better because on [the TV version], I turned into some kind of giant spider and it was not very scary.”

Skarsgård said that the performances don’t need to be compared and that they can stand alone:

“It was always important for me to reinvent It and reinterpret It in a different way. I sort of grew up with the Tim performance and I was very familiar with it and a huge fan as an actor, so my process of preparing for the role was, “okay this needs to be different” and I think we did that, I think this Pennywise is different and they can stand alone – there’s no need to compare them as you can appreciate both but it was important to me to do something new and something original with the take on the character.”

While Skarsgård and Curry offered pretty positive comments, director of the 2017 film, Andy Muschetti, didn’t hold back his true feelings for the 1990 miniseries:

“Most of the people are excited about seeing a good adaptation. There are naysayers. Those tend to be the people who are fans of the miniseries rather than the fans of the book. People who read the book and got the book, they’re not crazy about the miniseries. It was a very watered-down version. It didn’t contain the darkness that the book had. They couldn’t make something for TV about a clown who eats children.”

In another interview, Muschietti added:

“I totally acknowledge how iconic that miniseries was for a generation. But also you have to say that it impacted that generation because they saw it with very young eyes as a TV movie or on VHS. A lot of people don’t remember the whole thing, but they are terrified of the iconic scenes of the clown behind the sheets in the beginning and the storm drain.”

Wherever your loyalties are, one thing can definitely be agreed upon: Stephen King created one very interesting character.

We’ll see Skarsgård’s Pennywise next when IT: Chapter 2 hits theaters in 2019.

Which Pennywise the Clown performance do you like the most? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comment section!

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