Empire (UK)



HOW DO YOU go about reinventin­g one of the most iconic screen monsters of all time? Well, if you’re Andrés Muschietti — the Argentine director of 2013’s breakout hit Mama and the man charged with rebooting Stephen King’s It — you start by admitting said monster never really freaked you out in the first place.

“I understand Tim Curry’s Pennywise is a cult horror moment,” says Muschietti, “but I was never scared by him. I think he’s great — he scared the shit out of a generation — but I was older when I saw the [1990] TV series. For me, to make something scary you have to look inside yourself. I wanted Pennywise to be child-like. For me, this is a monster created by the imaginatio­n of children. That’s why it must keep killing; it will cease to exist if children stop believing in it.”

The tale of an inter-dimensiona­l evil with a penchant for fright wigs, It has been split into two movies, the first of which will concentrat­e on the group of kids who uncover the sinister presence of the monster (Bill Skarsgård) lurking in their town. Muschietti’s end-game is simple: to traumatise a whole new generation. And his methods couldn’t be more timely, thanks to the bizarre recent spate of creepy-clown sightings across the globe. “After all the monster-clown iterations through the years, you’d imagine people would be fed up with them,” the director grins. “But they’re still really frightened. Honestly, there were people on my crew who regretted taking the job...”

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