Bill Skarsgard Recounts Disturbing Scene that had to be Deleted from IT

It is still frightening moviegoers all over North America. But.. could the movie have been even more frightening? Bill Skarsgard says it could have. Skarsgard plays Pennywise the Dancing Clown, the film’s main villain in the recent reboot.

In the reboot, audiences weren’t able to explore much of the origins of Pennywise in It. Or, what he’s been up to for hundreds of years in the town of Derry, Maine. But, there could have been. Skarsgard has revealed that there was at least one Pennywise flashback he himself found “really, really disturbing.”


“There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise],” Skarsgard said in a new episode of Variety‘s Playback podcast.

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.


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Although director Andy Muschietti ultimately cut that scene from the finished film, there’s still something of the 17th century time period in Pennywise‘s costume. With the ruffles and the pirate-like puffy shirt quality of the tunic, there’s something of a Renaissance flavour to how Pennywise is dressed in It. One look at him, and you know he’s from a time that no one in Derry is going to be remotely familiar with. That almost gives him more of an alien quality versus Tim Curry’s Pennywise from the 1990 TV miniseries, who had a kind of Bozo/TV clown feeling to him.

It’s also possible that not exploring the the origins of Pennywise in the film makes him even more frightening. Still, Skarsgard suggested though that the topic of where Pennywise came from might be a explored in the pending sequel to It

That might be something worth exploring in the second one,” he said. “The idea is the ‘It‘ entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that.”


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Speaking of Pennywise’s book origins, Skarsgard told Playback that the intricate back-story of the character might also be a part of the sequel.

“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.”

The big question though is whether or not the audience will want to explore the back-story of It. Maybe they’re just going to want more creepy clown action! The box office juggernaut that is It marches on with $373 million so far collected at the global box office.

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Adam A. Donaldson

Adam A. Donaldson is a writer, reporter and podcaster based in Guelph, ON. When not watching and writing about spooky things, he covers politics on Guelph Politico and Open Sources Guelph, and co-hosts the movie show End Credits.