Is This the Year of Bill Skarsgård?

The actor will dominate theaters in 2024

February 28, 2024 1:56 pm
Bill Skarsgard at San Diego Comic Con
Bill Skarsgard at San Diego Comic Con
Getty Images

Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård, best known for his role as Pennywise the Clown in the 2017 film It, ventures on to three new films in 2024. He’s not yet leaving the face paint behind, taking on two more iconic horror roles in Nosferatu and The Crow. Skarsgard will also play the lead in an original action film Boy Kills World. 

Skarsgård has six siblings who are all in the film industry, but this year will be his time to take the acting throne. While Skarsgård gains the most recognition for his horror roles, he is not new to the action genre. His last appearance on the big screen was in John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) as the franchise’s new villain, Marquis, opposing the heroic John Wick played by Keanu Reeves. 

actor in red top black pants fighting people in all black and headgear
Boy Kills World (2023)

In the action/thriller Boy Kills World, Skarsgård plays a bad-ass character with disabilities. Boy, a deaf and mute man, living in a corrupt post-apocalyptic society, seeks revenge on the ruthless matriarch who killed his family. He trains with a shaman to master martial arts and unleashes violence on his oppressors. Skarsgard took two months of martial arts training for the role. He’s certain to hit the stunts while he stunts trendy post-apocalyptic fashion. The film, directed by German director Moritz Mohr, comes out in theaters on April 26. 

Skarsgård will also seek revenge in a reboot of the 1994 supernatural horror film The Crow. The actor will play Eric Draven, a musician who comes back from the dead and seeks vengeance against the gang who murdered him and his fiancée. It’s a dark, twisted love story from beyond the grave. Rupert Sanders will direct the film, which comes out in theaters this summer, on June 7.

actor with black hair and white face makeup in black clothes
Brandon Lee in The Crow (1994)
Miramax Films

The film has a haunting history from its beginnings as a comic series to the unexpected death of its star, Brandon Lee, son of martial artist Bruce Lee. James O’Barr wrote the comic series The Crow as a way to cope with the unexpected death of his fiancée, whom a drunk driver killed in a car accident. O’Barr was hesitant to work with Hollywood directors, but eventually agreed to collaborate on screenplay drafts with screenwriter John Shirley.

Brandon Lee, honored in Hollywood, gave a chilling performance as Eric Draven. During filming, a gunshot wound to the abdomen fatally harmed Lee. A prop assistant mishandled the gun on set after the production company sent the firearm specialists home early. Miramax eventually picked up production after delays. The studio increased the film’s budget and added in a stunt double to finish Lee’s scenes.

Bill Skarsgard in a blue bomber jacket, with a mullet and face tattoos, looking at FKA Twigs in a dress
Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs in The Crow (2024)

Bill Skarsgård has proven himself worthy of playing a spooky character with a face full of makeup that people can use for Halloween inspiration. Because of his sunken eyes and deadpan stare, he can deliver a certain amount of desirable creepiness necessary for the role of Eric Draven.

The film won’t exactly match the ’90s goth edginess of the original cult classic. A first look into the movie shows Skarsgård in a modern alternative look inspired by recent fashion trends — the male mullet and face tattoos. Sanders says this look was inspired by influential artists of this generation like Post Malone and Lil Peep. Actress and artist FKA Twigs will act alongside Skarsgård as his love interest. She complements his style in the movie with her signature boho aesthetic.

We will continue living in the era of movie remakes well into winter. Skarsgård will also act in a reboot of the influential horror film Nosferatu, a 1922 silent German Expressionist vampire film directed by FW Murnau. Nosferatu (2024) will be directed by Robert Eggers, who also directed The Witch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019). Skarsgård will be accompanied by costars Lily-Rose Depp and Nicholas Hoult. The film is set to be released on Christmas Day.

tall vampire in black trench coat standing in doorway
Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922)
Prana Film

Max Schreck plays Count Orlock in the original Nosferatu. He feasts on blood and causes unexpected deaths in the fictional town of Winsborg. The film is acclaimed for its contribution to horror, which was far from mainstream in the ’20s. Schreck’s eerie portrayal of a tall, bald bat-like vampire with sharp teeth, pointed ears and long fingers terrified viewers. This film also invented vampiric traits that we continue to see replicated in movies today, like death by sunlight.

We have yet to see Skarsgård’s physical transformation into Count Orlock, but have faith in him after seeing his transformation into Pennywise. The Pennywise transformation made Skarsgård unrecognizable using intense make-up, wardrobe and CGI effects. Similar to Pennywise, Count Orlock’s character balances an unsettling appearance with his foolish behavior. After a century of advances in the horror film industry, viewers now consider Schreck’s Count Orlock to be silly-scary rather than scary-scary. Based on his performance in It, Skarsgård can nail silly-scary.

Another iconic horror performance by Skarsgård will be sure to entertain audiences enough to be discussing the film in 2025. From murderous clown to murderous vampire, Nosferatu could surpass It as Skarsgård’s most important film in his career.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.