IT fan art recasts Pennywise the clown with Cameron Monaghan over Bill Skarsgard. The killer clown Pennywise of course first appeared in Stephen King’s novel IT, published in 1986. An extra-terrestrial being who has lived on earth for millions of years, the villain terrorized the town of Derry on a twenty-six-year cycle before finally being defeated by the grown-up members of the Losers’ Club.
A shapeshifter who feeds on the fear of the children he terrorizes, Pennywise was brought to memorable life for television in the otherwise underwhelming 1990 IT mini-series by Tim Curry. When it came time to make IT as a feature film in 2017, director Andy Muschietti tapped Skarsgard, who indeed succeeded in making Pennywise terrifying (with the help of modern day computer effects). Skarsgard’s version of Pennywise helped the IT movies scare up a truly impressive $1.17 billion at the worldwide box office, though many fans still prefer Curry’s more deliciously mischievous take on the character.
If Pennywise were ever to return to movie screens (a definite possibility at least according to Muschietti), fan artist ApexForm has put forth Gotham star Monaghan as a possible replacement for Skarsgard (if indeed Skarsgard wants to hang up his clown shoes). See ApexForm’s art showing Monaghan as Pennywise in the space below:
Monaghan is indeed best known for playing Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska, a pair of frightening murderers who sometimes wear clown-like make-up on the TV show Gotham (the characters serve as the show’s stand-ins for The Joker, who can’t be directly depicted by the Batman-based series due to rights issues). But Monaghan boasts an extensive resume beyond Gotham, including the prominent role of Ian Gallagher on Shameless and roles in movies like Amityville: The Awakening and The Giver.
No doubt the clown make-up sported by Monaghan on Gotham inspired ApexForm to envision him as Pennywise, and indeed it’s not a great stretch to see him in the role. Whether Monaghan would be able to bring the proper level of scariness to Pennywise is indeed another question. Obviously, he was frightening enough as the Valeskas on Gotham, but Pennywise is on another level as an iconic horror movie villain. For Monaghan or any other actor tackling the role in the future, the challenge will obviously be overcoming the massive legacy established by Curry and then Skarsgard. Indeed, Skarsgard himself had to overcome fans already being in love with Curry’s Pennywise to take ownership of the character, and it’s fair to say he succeeded.
If anything has been proven by the two different and effective takes on the villainous clown from IT, it’s that there’s more than one way to tackle Pennywise. Given the huge box office for the two IT movies, studio executives would no doubt love to figure out a way to bring the character back in a new story not covered by the original novel. So perhaps Monaghan will one day get his chance to go where Curry and Skarsgard went before.