Stephen King Talks Inspiration for Pennywise and More About It


The good folks over at The Stephen King Club have brought a couple of neat videos to light featuring Stephen King talking about IT and the genesis of the infamous Pennywise the Clown.

The first bit, recorded by Nicole Schröder in Hamburg in November 2013, features King explaining the origin of Pennywise.

I had an idea when I was in Colorado that I wanted to write a really long book that had all of the monsters in it,” said King. “I figured if people think I’m a horror writer — I never considered myself to be that myself, I’m just a writer-writer — I thought to myself, ‘I’ll get all of the monsters together as I possibly can; I’ll get the Vampire, I’ll get the Werewolf, and I’ll even get the Mummy.’ The Mummy has never really scared me because it’s like the Mummy is after us, let’s all walk. It’s not a terribly scary monster, but he had to be there because he’s one of the classics. But then I thought to myself, ‘There out to be one binding, horrible, nasty, gross, creature kind of thing that you don’t want to see, [and] it makes you scream just to see it.’ So I thought to myself, ‘What scares children more than anything else in the world?’ And the answer was ‘clowns’.

King continues, “So, I created Pennywise the Clown. Then, what happened was, ABC came along and said they wanted to make a mini-series out of it and wanted to cast Tim Curry as Pennywise. I thought it was a strange idea but it really worked and it scared a whole generation of young people and made them scared of clowns, but clowns are scary for children to start with.

The second half of the below video shows King on “The Conan O’Brien Show” circa 2005 in which he discusses the horrors of clowns!

It hits theaters on September 8th.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Chung-Hoon Chung (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), production designer Claude Paré (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), editor Jason Ballantine (The Great Gatsby), and costume designer Janie Bryant (“Mad Men”).

When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.



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