Image of the Day: First look at Pennywise the Clown in Stephen King's It

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Jul 13, 2016, 2:16 PM EDT

Filming on the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s It has recently begun, and we have our first official look at Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Clown.

The official image was released via Entertainment Weekly, who debuted this frightening look at the iconic book character -- seriously, don’t look at him with the lights off, or you may drown in those "deadlights" -- and he looks pretty awesome! Unless you hate clowns, that is.

The upcoming adaptation will be directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama) and is slated to be released on Sept. 8, 2017. The plan for this new version (some of you may remember that 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise) is for the story to be split into two films: The first one features our young band of misfits as kids when they first encounter and face off against Pennywise, and the second will focus on them as adults who have to go back to the town of Derry, Maine, to destroy the evil entity.

Here’s what Skarsgard said about playing Pennywise:

“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane. It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he’s not even human. He’s not even a clown. I’m playing just one of the beings It creates. It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look. It truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt. What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny. There’s a childishness to the character, because he’s so closely linked to the kids. The clown is the manifestation of children’s imaginations, so there’s something child-like about that.”

As for how his Pennywise will stack up to Tim Curry’s iconic take on the role (to this day, his Pennywise still scares the living crap out of me), Skarsgard said: “Tim Curry’s performance was truly great, but it’s important for me to do something different because of that. I’ll never be able to make a Tim Curry performance as good as Tim Curry.”

(via EW)