Bill Skarsgård revealed in a new interview that the recently released remake of Stephen King‘s It, for all its box-office success and nostalgic terror, originally included a scene that even he considered “disturbing.”
“There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise],” he explained on an episode of Variety‘s Playback podcast. “The scene turned out really, really disturbing. And I’m not the clown. I look more like myself. It’s very disturbing, and sort of a backstory for what It is, or where Pennywise came from.”
Though director Andrés Muschietti ultimately cut the flashback scene, Skarsgård added that there is a possibility it could surface in some form in a potential sequel.
“That might be something worth exploring in the second one,” he said. “The idea is the ‘It’ entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that.”
An earlier draft of the script, co-written by Cary Kukunaga (who was initially set to direct before bowing out in 2015) included “a colonial-set sequence where It devours a child,” as well as a scene in an 1800s saloon where Pennywise is playing a piano.
During the podcast, Skarsgård also noted that future installments of It could tap into some of the more outrageous, mind-bending elements of King’s original novel, something other adaptations haven’t quite done before.
“The book is very abstract and metaphysical about what it means to exist and the idea of fantasy and imagination and all of these things,” he said. “I think that could be cool to explore as well. It’s like, what is Pennywise? He only exists in the imagination of children. If you don’t believe him to be real then he might not be real. There’s an interesting aspect to explore there.”
It has currently made $180 million at the box office stateside since its release on Sept. 8th.