IT managed to shatter everyone's expectations at the box office this weekend. Many expected the movie to do very well, but the $123 million opening weekend take broke records and truly took many by surprise. Not the least of which are director Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti, who are very surprised by the huge opening but also very excited, as one would expect. Now, they have talked a bit about that big opening weekend and their plans for the sequel.
The duo spoke with Variety following the opening weekend of IT. Producer Barbara Muschietti revealed that she had a "premonition" that the movie would make $80 million opening weekend, which would have been amazing. But even that bold prediction wasn't even close. Here's what she had to say about it.
"I had a premonition like five months ago that it would do $80 [million in its opening weekend]. I have no idea why, people kept telling me that I was insane, and I actually turned out being wrong, because it turned out to be higher. Andy has the best attitude toward it, which is, he would keep on shooting until the day of the release of a film if he could, so he isn't thinking about projections."
Given the massive opening weekend, IT 2 sequel is going to be a huge priority for New Line Cinema moving forward. The movie is going to tell the second half of Stephen King's novel, which will see The Loser's Club as adults. Discussing the sequel, Andy Muschietti revealed that, despite possibly making some financial sense, they won't be making IT into a trilogy.
"I don't think so. I've read that idea in the media, which is funny. I understand why they would think that because New Line originally split up 'The Hobbit' into three [movies] instead of two. It would make sense because it would give me more turf to develop the characters and more of a canvas to develop the journey, but to be honest, there wasn't a conversation about that and now we are designing the story as one single film."
One of the things that makes this new take on IT work so well is the young cast that makes up The Loser's Club. As Barbara Muschietti put it, "Our luck was insane through all of this working with around 12 kids who all clicked instantly, they were amazing." Even though IT: Chapter Two will focus on the Losers as adults, Andy Muschietti promises that there will be a "dialogue" between the two timelines, meaning we're going to see the kids return in the sequel.
"The thing I want to bring in the next film that I couldn't do here is the dialogue between the two timelines. That was so important in the book and we didn't get to explore that here, but I wanted to keep the story of the kids as pure and without interference as I could. The dialogue between those two timelines with all those flashbacks is so important to the book that I want to bring that back. We are going back to the summer of 1989 and if people love these characters and actors the way I do, it's going to be a blast to go back to 1989 in the second one. I don't want to go back just for that, I want to make those flashbacks essential in the plot where in order for the Losers to figure out the clues to defeat Pennywise, they have to retrieve their memories from the past."
The question on everyone's mind for IT 2 is who is going to play the adult versions of The Losers Club. Andy Muschietti isn't ready to reveal that yet, but he did condone bringing in Jessica Chastain to play an older Beverly, since he worked with her on Mama and, according to Barbara Muschietti, "She also loves the movie." Here's what Andy Muschietti had to say about it.
"I don't know, does she? [Laughs] Jessi is an amazing actress and very good friend and I would love her to play Beverly...Yeah, she loves the movie and it feels like the planets are aligned in that sense, but we still have to make that happen. There are a lot of ideas for the rest of the cast that I'm playing with, but it's a bit too premature to say those names right now."
Currently, there is no release date locked down for IT 2. Writer Gary Dauberman was recently hired to return to write the script and it is said that New Line is hoping for a 2019 release date. Andy Muschietti hasn't officially locked down a deal to direct, but based on this interview, it sounds like he is definitely going to return.