×

Will Poulter to Play the Evil Clown in ‘It’ Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

New Line and “True Detective” director Cary Fukunaga have found their “It.”

Sources tell Variety that Will Poulter (“We’re the Millers”) is in negotiations to play Pennywise, the evil monster who lured in children disguised as a clown, in the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s horror classic.

Fukunaga will direct “It,” which will be split into two feature films.

The original story followed a group of outcast kids who come together over summer break to take on the monster that’s haunting their town, battling their own personal monsters in the process.

King’s popular book was made into a TV miniseries in 1991 starring John Ritter and Tim Curry, who played the clown in terrifying fashion. A film adaptation was never undertaken given the size of the King novel, but Fukunaga has been very vocal recently that the latest script will stay true to the King story while also giving the film a new look.

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.

Popular on Variety

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. New Line also distributed Poulter’s “We’re the Millers,” which co-starred Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis.

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.

Since the original novel ran at about 900 pages and spanned several decades, the plan is for New Line to shoot one movie focusing on the protagonists as kids and another focusing on them as adults. Fukunaga has scripts for both ready, with Poulter appearing in both films, making him the star of the project.

He can be seen next in “The Revenant,” which opens on Christmas Day, and is attached to “Yellowbirds” opposite Tye Sheridan.

He is repped by WME, Hamilton Hodell and Pippa Beng and Donna Mills in the U.K.

More Film

  • Gabriel Harel on MyFFF ‘The Night

    Gabriel Harel Discusses Dystopic Parable ‘The Night of the Plastic Bags’

    With his first short film, the animated “Yùl and the Snake,” Gabriel Harel won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or for the continent’s best animated short film, given at the 2016 Cartoon Forum in Toulouse. Now, Harel’s awaited sophomore effort, the animated “The Night of the Plastic Bags,” competes at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, and is available on a swathe [...]

  • MyFrenchFilmFestival: Profiling Benjamin Crotty’s Short ‘Nicolas

    ‘The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin’: Nationalism Wrapped in Charisma

    Winner of Locarno’s Signs of Life section, Benjamin Crotty’s “The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin” has enjoyed more than 12 months of festival success and critical acclaim as it reaches the end of its festival run at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival. A modern take on one of France’s most influential yet widely unknown characters, the film headlines [...]

  • Alexander Ludwig

    Alexander Ludwig on Sharing his Recovery Journey, Playing the 'Bad Boys' Tech Guy

    With his towering height and stature, Alexander Ludwig looks every bit the action star, first appearing as Cato in “The Hunger Games,” and more recently as fierce Norse Viking chief Bjorn Ironside on History Channel’s “Vikings” and in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, with Will Smith and Martin [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Scores Big With $66 Million Launch

    “Bad Boys for Life” is showing plenty of power at the North American box office with an impressive  launch of around $66 million at 3,740 venues over the four-day holiday weekend. Sony’s sequel to 1995’s “Bad Boys” and 2003’s “Bad Boys II” far exceeded the studio’s pre-release forecasts of a $38 million weekend. The film, [...]

  • A Bump Along the Way Movie

    'A Bump Along the Way': Film Review

    While “Derry Girls” continues to be the last word in young, raucous female rebellion on the Emerald Isle, “A Bump Along the Way” has a little something to add. Sin the same Northern Irish city as the hit Netflix sitcom, but shedding the ’90s nostalgia for the Snapchat age, Shelly Love’s appealing, unassuming debut feature [...]

  • Tresor Plots $72 Million 'Asterix &

    Tresor Films Plots $72 Million 'Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road,' New Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    After delivering two of the highest-grossing French films of last year, Alain Attal’s Paris-based production company Tresor Films (“Sink or Swim,” “Little White Lies 2”) is kicking off 2020 with its most ambitious project yet, Guillaume Canet’s “Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road.” Co-produced and financed by Jerome Seydoux’s Pathé, “Asterix & Obelix” is budgeted [...]

  • Anais Bertrand on Producing Sundance Player

    Anais Bertrand on the Obstacles She Faced to Produce Sundance Player ‘Jumbo’

    Zoé Wittock’s debut feature, “Jumbo,” screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, is also the first feature film produced by up-and-coming French producer Anais Bertrand, of Insolence Productions, who has cut her teeth on award-winning shorts, including winning the Procirep Short Film Producer Award last year. “Jumbo” is about a young woman, played by Noémie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content