IT filmmakers considered Tilda Swinton for Pennywise

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer
Tilda Swinton was wanted for Pennywise in IT - Credit: Warner Bros / WENN

Stephen King’s ‘IT’ could have been so different…

At least, if Tilda Swinton had nabbed the role of Pennywise.

During an interview with journalists during a recent set visit (via JoBlo), producer Barbara Muschietti revealed that the upcoming ‘IT’ remake considered some pretty big names for the role of Pennywise… with Tilda Swinton right at the top of the list.

“We auditioned literally hundreds of potential Bob Grays or Pennywises and it was an amazing process,” she revealed. “We got to audition people that don’t audition anymore and a huge gamut of talent; women, younger age, older age, we really went through the spectrum of actors.”

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And that’s where Tilda Swinton comes in…

Asked (rather jokingly) if they had considered Tilda for the role, Muschietti apparently surprised everyone by confirming that they had… but a scheduling conflict meant that she was unable to even audition.

“She wasn’t available,” she said. “No, no I swear to god. She was not. We had a slot to shoot the movie and she wasn’t available so she didn’t even audition. But of course, we all thought about it.”

You'll float soon too... Credit: Warner Bros.

And that would have been one hell of a different Pennywise.

Still, in the end the role went to none other than Bill Skarsgård.

But why did they go with him? Apparently, his interpretation of Pennywise was much closer to the original descriptions in Stephen King’s novel… and that completely blew them away.

“Bill came in and blew our socks off. Because he was doing his very own interpretation of Pennywise, very erudite… very, very familiar with the novel and with Pennywise in the novel, which for us was a huge help. Because we went in the casting process with the book in mind.”

“We read the novel when we were teens,” she added. “We saw the miniseries much later in the game, so Tim Curry’s performance is extraordinary but that is not necessarily what we link to Pennywise immediately. For us, the Pennywise is the Pennywise in the book which is quite different. I think Bill went for that and he did an amazing, amazing performance and we gave him several tests.”

“Again, because he’s a shape shifter, we wanted to make sure that he could play in different grades, right? And he did. he’s amazing. And what’s even more amazing is that he kept the character very unpredictable, and that’s what scares us the most, when you don’t know what way he’s going to go.”

Stephen King’s ‘IT’ stars Bill Skarsgård, Finn Wolfhard, Megan Charpentier, Nicholas Hamilton, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophie Lillis, Steven Williams and Owen Teague.

Andrés Muschietti directed the film, based on a script by Gary Dauberman, Chase Palmer, and Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Stephen King’s ‘IT’ opens in cinemas on 8 September 2017.

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