In March It remake director Cary Fukunaga revealed that he and New Line were still searching for their perfect Pennywise, and now Variety says they may have found him!
Variety reports that Will Poulter (The Maze Runner, We’re the Millers) is in final talks to take the role, and interesting choice and certainly not someone I was expecting to be cast in such an iconic role.
Tim Curry did a terrific job playing Pennywise in the 1990 TV mini-series, and Poulter has some mighty big shoes to fill (sorry) if he is to craft a Pennywise even half as good as Curry’s.
However, let’s not forget that this is Fukunaga directing and writing the It reboot, and he has been working on it for years in order to perfect it, and he also directed True Detective and look how utterly amazing that was. Even though the shock casting of Poulter is hard to digest, Fukunaga clearly has an interesting plan going on here, and to be fair, Poulter played a sort of bad guy really well in The Maze Runner, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Fukunaga will direct “It,” which will be split into two feature films.
Fukunaga penned the screenplay along with Chase Palmer. Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg are also producing through their KatzSmith banner while Dan Lin and Roy Lee are also producing.
Niija Kuykendall, Dave Neustadter and Walter Hamada are overseeing for Warner Bros. and New Line. Production will begin this summer.
After considering older actors like Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn for the Pennywise role, New Line wanted to take a different route and go younger. Sources say in the end, Fukunaga could not say no after being blown away by Poulter’s audition for the part and felt he was the right choice for the role.
While the role is dark and evil, sources say Poulter is more than capable of taking on the character especially after his work on New Regency’s “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In the Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu film, he plays one of the robbers who leaves DiCaprio for dead after he is mauled in the wilderness by a bear. Insiders who have seen early footage feel that Poulter, 22, is more than ready for a villainous lead.
A few months ago producer Seth Grahame-Smith told EW:
“I think that if anything, [the new film] will bring back some of the viciousness of the book that they couldn’t do with the miniseries because it was for broadcast… I think it’s going to be very scary, but I also feel like you’ve got Cary who is going to direct these kids—and he’s incredible at casting, incredible at shooting. He’s incredible with tone and atmosphere. One of the things I wanted to do is be a part of one of the really good King adaptations. As we know, there is an echelon of King adaptations that are classics. There are some that are okay. There are some that we’d rather forget.”
Producer Dan Lin told Vulture last year:
“The idea is to start official prep in March for a summer shoot,” said Lin. “Cary likes to develop things for a while, and we’ve been with this for about three or four years, so we’re super excited that he stayed with it. You guys are gonna be really excited.”
Both Lin and Vulture then confirm that the film would be split into two halves, much like the 1990 TV mini-series, with the first half focusing on the kids, and the second focusing on the adults. Vulture states that Fukunaga will be directing the kids part, but has not been confirmed to direct the second, adult themed movie:
“The book is so epic that we couldn’t tell it all in one movie and service the characters with enough depth,” explained Lin; the first film, then, will be a coming-of-age story about the children tormented by It, while the second will skip ahead in time as those same characters band together to continue the fight as adults. Though Fukunaga is only committed to directing the first film, Lin says the in-demand helmer is currently closing a deal to co-write the second.
Finally, Lin revealed that King himself is more than happy with what they are doing:
“The most important thing is that Stephen King gave us his blessing,” said Lin. “We didn’t want to make this unless he felt it was the right way to go, and when we sent him the script, the response that Cary got back was, ‘Go with God, please! This is the version the studio should make.’ So that was really gratifying.”