After overcoming a handful of hurdles, New Line’s reboot of Stephen King’s “It” is back on track with a new face in the project’s most iconic role.
Sources tell Variety that “Divergent” actor Bill Skarsgard is the top choice to play Pennywise — the evil clown who terrifies a small town’s children — in the studio’s adaptation of the classic novel.
Will Poulter was originally attached to the project, but had to part ways due to scheduling conflicts. According to insiders, the studio was conflicted on whether or not to stick with a younger actor like Poulter (Skarsgard is 25) or cast an older thesp like Hugo Weaving, who was also considered for the role.
New Line recently announced the movie would bow on Sept. 8, 2017, with “Mama” helmer Andres Muschietti directing. Muschietti came on board following Cary Fukunaga’s departure from the movie last year, and quickly turned around a rewrite of the script.
The original King novel followed seven children who comprised the Losers Club. The studio plans two films, one focused on the children, and a sequel following them into adulthood when they return to their hometown to face the monster again.
Barbara Muschietti, Roy Lee and Dan Lin are producing along with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith.
The role would mark the biggest part to date for Skarsgard, who is best known for his work in the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove” as well as the “Divergent” franchise.
He is repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment’s Shelley Browning, Hirsch Wallerstein and Agentfirman/Planthaber and Kilden.