Stephen King's 'It' Adaptation Finds Its Pennywise the Clown (Exclusive)

'Mama' helmer Andy Muschietti is directing the New Line horror movie.
Skarsgard: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images. Pennywise: Photofest
Bill Skarsgard, Pennywise the Clown

Bill Skarsgard has the It factor.

The actor, who is one of the stars of Hemlock Grove, has nabbed the role of Stephen King’s iconic villain Pennywise the Clown in New Line’s adaptation of the author’s landmark novel It.

Skarsgard is in final negotiations to star in the horror pic, whose cast will also include St. Vincent actor Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs and Jeremy Ray Taylor.

Andy Muschietti, the helmer behind the surprise horror hit Mama, is directing the adaptation, which is being told in two parts. Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti are producing.

The story follows a group of teens called the Losers Club who defeat a creature called It. Years later, the creature returns, and the former club members, now adults, have to band together again even though they have no memory of the first battle.

New Line’s first movie will tell the kids’ story, while the second movie will focus on the adults.

Pennywise is the form the evil entity frequently takes. He is a clown who, when he smiles, is all killer teeth.

The project originally came together under the direction of Cary Fukunaga, who left over creative differences; at the time, Will Poulter (We’re the Millers, The Revenant) was to have played Pennywise. The search for a new director pushed the movie by a year and Poulter was no longer available.

Jon Silk is executive producing It. Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter are overseeing the project for New Line.

Skarsgard is the son of Stellan Skarsgard (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and the brother of Alexander Skarsgard, who stars in Warner Bros.' Legend of Tarzan this summer.  Apart from Hemlock Grove, Bill Skarsgard has appeared in Lionsgate’s Divergent.

He is repped by WME and Magnolia Entertainment.

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