Part of what makes Pennywise so terrifying in It is the mystery that shrouds the character. The origin of the demonic entity known as "It" — which typically presents itself as the shape-shifting, dancing clown before chowing down on the children who live in Derry, ME — is actually pretty trippy if you've read Stephen King's 1986 novel.
It might appear as Pennywise most frequently, but the ancient evil's natural form truly exists in a cosmic realm between worlds (a plane referred to as the Macroverse) and is therefore unable to be processed by the human mind. The closest approximation to It's true form, other than swirling orange lights (known as the "deadlights"), is a giant female spider. Otherwise, anyone who views the lights is said to go insane. It's mentioned in the film that It has been in Derry for thousands of years, but how did It get there in the first place?
While appearing on Variety's Playback podcast, Bill Skarsgard (who plays Pennywise in the reboot) revealed that a scene that was eventually cut from the final film would have explained how It came to be.
"There was a scene we shot that was a flashback from the 1600s, before Pennywise [was Pennywise]," Skarsgard said. "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. That might be something worth exploring in the second one. The idea is the 'It' entity was dormant for thousands and thousands of years. The [flashback] scene hints on that."
Variety further noted that a previous draft of the film written by director Cary Fukunaga, who left the project in early 2015, included "a scene featuring Pennywise playing a saloon piano in the 1800s to spur on violence, as well as a colonial-set sequence where It devours a child." Clearly clowns are spooky in every decade. Skarsgard hinted that the scene might actually end up appearing in the sequel, and there's a chance the second chapter will dive deep into the book's more out-there ideas.
"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 added. "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."