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‘It’ Star Bill Skarsgard Says a ‘Disturbing’ Flashback Scene Was Cut From the Movie

With “Ittearing it up at the box office for a second weekend in a row, you can expect Warner Bros. to green-light the second chapter of Andy Muchietti’s Stephen King adaptation any day now. (Indeed, the film has not yet been given the official go-ahead, but it is in active development.)

Recently appearing on Variety’s “Playback” podcast, actor Bill Skarsgard — who stars as the creepy manifestation of It, Pennywise the clown, in the new film — spoke briefly about one scene that was shot but ultimately cut.

“There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise],” Skarsgard said. “The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I’m not the clown. I look more like myself. It’s very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from. That might be something worth exploring in the second one. The idea is the ‘It’ entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that. ”

Early drafts of the “It” screenplay, originally written by director Cary Fukunaga, who departed the project in early 2015,  and Chase Palmer, have been thoroughly dissected by the online film community. At least one draft contained a scene featuring Pennywise playing a saloon piano in the 1800s to spur on violence, as well as a colonial-set sequence where It devours a child. Whatever the scene was that Muschietti and company shot, Skarsgard — who wouldn’t go into too many details — said it may yet appear in the sequel.

Moreover, the actor expressed excitement over diving into the trippier elements of King’s book, which have yet to be fully tapped by any adaptation of the material.

“The book is very abstract and metaphysical about what it means to exist and the idea of fantasy and imagination and all of these things,” Skarsgard said. “I think that could be cool to explore as well. It’s like, what is Pennywise? He only exists in the imagination of children. If you don’t believe him to be real then he might not be real. There’s an interesting aspect to explore there.”

“It” pulled in another $19 million at the domestic box office Friday, bringing the Stateside total to nearly $180 million.

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