Stephen King’s masterful horror novel, It, was made even more famous by the 1990 miniseries adaptation, which brought Tim Curry’s menacingly ebullient Pennywise the Dancing Clown to life. From then on, the character has been a staple of the pop culture landscape, and a source of dread for many. But for all his notoriety, there remains one burning question: how old is Pennywise?
Pennywise in the Novel
In the novel, Pennywise is an ancient creature from a place outside space and time. He has been associated with Derry, Maine for hundreds of years and has the ability to shape-shift, appearing in a variety of guises to suit his needs. He is not bound by typical age conventions, as he predates humanity and is virtually ageless.
Pennywise in the Miniseries
In the miniseries adaptaion, Pennywise was played by the late Tim Curry, and was given an actual age. The adult version of Pennywise is said to be 459 years old, while the version of him seen in flashback is likely much older. He has had numerous lives in Derry, and has taken on a variety of forms over the centuries.
Tim Curry’s Influence
Despite the fact that Tim Curry’s version of Pennywise is significantly younger than his literary counterpart, the role gave the character new life, and made him even more iconic. His playful yet menacing nature has struck a chord with viewers, and he has become a source of terror and fascination for generations of horror fans.
The Legacy of Pennywise
In 2017, Andy Muschietti’s revamped big-screen adaptation of It was released to great success. Bill Skarsgård took on the role of Pennywise, breathing new life into the character. Pennywise is sure to remain a pop culture staple for years to come, and the mystery of his age will continue to amaze and terrify fans the world over.
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