Stephen King is well known for his extremely well written and detailed horror chronicles, some of which have gone on to become films. One of these novels in particular, is still taking on the public by storm. That novel, being his infamous title IT. The 1000+ page book has once again climbed to the top of the best seller list, no doubts thanks to the reboot which was released in early September.
However the iconic villain for this novel, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, has haunted fans from the pages of the novel long before he ever made it to the screen. King’s descriptions of the villain are absolutely haunting, increasing the widespread fear of clowns all across the world.
Now, how would King even think to come up with someone as wicked and deadly as Pennywise? Well, we finally know the answer!
During a public speaking event in Hamburg, Germany Nicole Schröder recorded King’s recollection of his initial concepts for the story.
“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. 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.’”
In the novel, these iconic monsters are fears of the children’s themselves in which ‘IT’ takes shape.
“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’.”
In a recent survey conducted by Vox (via Chapman University), it was recorded that 42% of their contributors have a fear of clowns, also referred to as coulrophobia. What’s even more interesting was that it outweighed some other common fears that people have: Terrorists Attacks was at 41% and Climate Change was at 32%.
“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.”
For those who have not yet seen the thriller/horror, it will be rolling to DVD this December!
Sources: Comicbook, EW