"Wanna balloon?" Chilling new image of Pennywise the Clown in It

Bill Skarsgård in 'It' (credit: Tom Woodruff Jr/New Line Cinema)
Bill Skarsgård in ‘It’ (credit: Tom Woodruff Jr/New Line Cinema)

Something spooky on the night before the night before Christmas? Okay, we don’t tend to associate the season with things that go bump in the night anymore, but in days gone by scary ghost stories were a festive tradition; just listen to the lyrics of ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’

Anyway – if we want to add a bit of creepiness to Christmas 2016, this newly released still from the set of upcoming Stephen King adaptation ‘It’ just might do the trick…

#adi Pennywise makeup for 2017's IT.

A photo posted by Tom Woodruff, Jr. (@tom_woodruffjr) on Dec 22, 2016 at 4:34pm PST

Shared on Instagram by seasoned creature/make-up FX master Tom Woodruff Jr., the image shows actor Bill Skarsgård in full make-up and costume as Pennywise, the demonic clown at the centre of King’s much-loved, epic 1986 novel.

Tim Curry memorably took the role in the 1990 TV mini-series adaptation from director Tommy Lee Wallace, and that performance was enough to induce coulrophobia in a whole generation of viewers.

We’d expect Skarsgård aims to do likewise – and on this evidence, he shouldn’t have too much trouble. Of course, that whole ‘killer clown’ trend that popped up earlier this year – which some have attributed to the production of ‘It’ – has already gone some way to ensuring today’s kids are already afraid of clowns.

Directed by Andrés Muschietti (‘Mama’), with a screenplay from Gary Dauberman and Chase Palmer, ‘It’ updates the novel’s 1950s-set opening to the 1980s. A second film is expected to cover the latter half of the story, catching up with the young heroes ‘The Losers Club’ as adults in the present day.

Look out for ‘It’ in UK cinemas from 8 September 2017.

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