Featured Image via Google Images/ aintitcool.com

Come one, come all, and see Pennywise the Dancing Clown in his best act yet. He’ll make your children disappear, but don’t expect to get them back.

Judging by the box office, many went to see Pennywise last weekend in the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, and those who saw the film know there’s more to come. Before the end credits scrolled down the screen, the title IT: Chapter 1 appeared, revealing this is only the first installment of the movie series.

An IT sequel was clearly planned from the beginning, since the timeline of the original novel by Stephen King initially starts with the Loser’s Club as adults looking back on their childhood in Derry, remembering the fear-mongering, shapeshifter, Pennywise. The sequel will then restore that original timeline, centering on the return of Pennywise 27 years later. The first IT film took place in 1989, and so IT: Chapter 2 will take place in the present day. While this will mean gathering a whole new cast to play Billy and his friends as adults, the actors that played them as kids will still be included in the sequel through flashbacks.

The flashbacks will not simply act as memories, but will be essential to the plot of the sequel. Director Andy Muschietti stated that, “On the second movie, that dialogue between timelines will be more present.” Andy continued, “If we’re telling the story of adults, we are going to have flashbacks that take us back to the ‘80s and inform the story in the present day.”

However, the concept of flashbacks raises an important issue: the sequel would need to begin filming soon, before the young cast of actors grow too old. “The hope is we’ll find the best way soon, because it’s also important for Andy to get flashbacks with the kids, who are growing fast. They are an important component in the next film,” said Barbara Muschietti, one of the producers and the director’s sister.

According to Barbara Muschietti, the sequel to IT has not officially been confirmed by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. However, IT: Chapter 2 has already started being written and developed, as it should be, since we all know the announcement of the sequel is simply a formality based off of the success IT received on its opening weekend. IT grossed $123 million at the box office, which was more substantial than the initial prediction that it would only earn $65 million.

Image via Google Images/ twitter.com

So what can we expect from IT: Chapter 2? There is one change Andy Muschietti plans to make to the adult-version of Mike Hanlon, the homeschooled outsider portrayed by Chosen Jacobs who elects to stay behind in Derry to be on the lookout for Pennywise’s return.

Hanlon stands out as one of the most formidable characters within the Loser’s Club, which he demonstrates by defeating the cruel bully Henry Bowers. According to Andy Muschietti, Hanlon will be physically and mentally affected by his lone stay in Derry all those years.

“My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” said Andy. “I want to make his character the one pivotal character who brings them all together, but staying in Derry took a toll with him. I want him to be a junkie actually.” The director hopes that adding this depth to Hanlon’s character will “infuse more agency to him in those 30 years we don’t visit.” He continues, “He’s not just the collector of knowledge of what Pennywise has been doing in Derry. He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him. The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.”

Hanlon’s method of taking drugs will actually bring back another event within the novel that was cut from IT: Chapter 1, when the Loser’s Club enact a Native American ritual in order to contact other supernatural beings in the supernatural world that will tell them how to kill Pennywise. “It resonates with what the kids do when they go to the smokehouse in the Barrens,” said Andy. “By inhaling these fumes from the fire they have visions of IT, and the origin of IT, and the falling fire in the sky that crashed into Derry millions of years ago. We’ve brought that to Mike, by the end of those 30 years Mike has figured out the Ritual of Chud.”

The adult-versions of the Loser’s Club characters have not been cast yet for IT: Chapter 2, but the producer’s of the film, Barbara Muschietti, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg, Roy Lee, and Dan Lin have been on the lookout for the right actors ever since the movie was filmed last summer. Anthony Breznican from Entertainment Weekly speculated that Amy Adams or Jessica Chastain might be the best choice to play an aged Beverly Marsh, or Chris Pratt for an older Ben Hanscom. The only actor who has been confirmed for IT: Chapter 2 is, of course, the shapeshifting clown, Pennywise, who is portrayed by Bill Skarsgard.


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