At one point in time, clowns were fun for the whole family. The white-faced jokesters amused audiences at circuses and birthday parties, but their reputation has changed over the years. Clowns are more likely to be associated with horror films than rubber noses these days - a recent rash of creepy clown sightings across the U.S. have done little to ease the public's fear. And, now, New Line is doing their best to separate the sightings from one of their films.
The studio recently approached The Hollywood Reporter to clear up any confusion about the clown sightings and their film remake of Stephen King's IT. Cathy Nam, a spokesperson, stressed that "New Line is absolutely not involved in the rash of clown sightings."
New Line was prompted to make a statement after conspiracy theorists connected the horror remake to the strange clown encounters. Netizens claimed the creepy sightings were done on the studio's behalf as a viral marketing campaign, but those rumors have now been debunked.
If you're unfamiliar with Stephen King's IT, then you're dreams have probably been blessedly free of killer clowns. The story originated as a novel before IT was adapted into a much-anticipated miniseries in 1990. The story follows a group of kids who investigate a string of murders in their quiet suburb and discover their hometown is being terrorized by a strange shapeshifting predator. Usually, the sadistic creature takes the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown and made audiences forever see clowns in a new, terrifying light.
Recently, the novel celebrated its 30th anniversary, and IT will return to scare audiences soon enough when its theatrical remake hits cinemas. The new project recently wrapped production.
IT isn't the only film that has been connected to the recent clown sightings. Fans are speculating whether Rob Zombie's upcoming carnival flick might be causing these clowns to appear. The crowdfunded horror film is called 31 and follows five carnival workers who are kidnapped and forced to survive a game called 31 while trying to evade murderous clowns.
The first report of these sinister sightings began earlier this year when children South Carolina reported seeing clowns outside of their homes. The news caught national attention and has apparently inspired copycats to don their own clown costumes. Sightings have since been reported in New Jersey, Tennessee, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and more.
Stephen King has even commented on the horrifying ordeal. He told The Bangor Daily that "the clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying."
The author went on to discuss why he chose to have IT dress like a clown in his novel. "I chose Pennywise the Clown as the face which the monster originally shows the kiddies because kids love clowns, but they also fear them," King said. "Clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to 'normal' people. Take a little kid to the circus and show him a clown, he's more apt to scream with fear than laugh."
When IT hits theaters next year, fans have expect to see Pennywise the Dancing Clown look as terrifying as ever. The character photos of Pennywise already look chilling, so moviegoers can anticipated seeing the monster when IT is released on September 8, 2017.
[H/T] The Hollywood Reporter