While New Line Cinema technically hasn't given the green light for IT 2 yet, given the massive box office success IT enjoyed last weekend, the green light status is likely just a mere technicality. Director Andy Muschietti and his producing partner Barbara Muschietti revealed new details about what they're planning for the IT sequel, which they've already been developing for quite some time. Be warned, if you haven't seen IT yet, there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
Long before this IT remake hit theaters, it was confirmed that this would be a two-part adaptation, with this first movie following the kids who make up The Losers Club in the year 1988 and 1989, with the second movie bringing them back together as adults. Director Andy Muschietti hinted in July that he wants to start shooting IT 2 in 2018, with the production targeting a 2019 release date. While we wait for New Line Cinema to make the inevitable announcement that IT 2 is happening, Entertainment Weekly caught up with Andy Muschietti, who revealed that, while the second movie will focus on the adult Losers Club kids, the same characters as kids will be back for flashback sequences. Here's what the director had to say below.
"On the second movie, that dialogue between timelines will be more present. 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."
Barbara Muschietti added that she hopes the studio pulls the trigger and issues the green light soon, because the kids are an, "important component in the next film" and that they are growing very fast, with Andy Muschietti adding that they're a "big part of the action." This comes just days after Andy Muschietti revealed that the sequel would return to 1989 and also explore a "cosmic dimension" that is teased in Stephen King's original novel. In the book, all of the kids move away from Derry, Maine, except for one, Mike Hanlon, played by Chosen Jacobs in the adaptation. While this thread will be followed in the movie sequel, Andy Muschietti teased some major changes to Chosen Jacobs from the books, who grew up to be a mild-mannered librarian in Derry, gathering all of the knowledge he could about Pennywise. Here's what he had to say about the much-different adult version of Mike Hanlon.
"My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book. 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. A librarian junkie. When the second movie starts, he's a wreck. (I want to) infuse more agency to him in those 30 years we don't visit. 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."
We also reported last week that original IT writer Gary Dauberman will return to write the script for the sequel. As for the adult members of The Losers Club, the director and producer wouldn't mention anyone specifically, but that didn't stop EW from speculating on who could be cast, with Jessica Chastain and Amy Adams mentioned for Sophia Lillis' character Beverly Marsh, with Chris Pratt mentioned to play Jeremy Ray Taylor's character Ben Hanscom. EW's sources also reveal, though, that the filmmakers may be targeting unknown actors for adult members of The Losers Club as well, but we may be quite a ways off from casting getting started. Ben Hanscom grows up to be an architect, and the standpipe seen in his postcard to Beverly will play a big role in the sequel's story. Andy Muschietti also reveals that Mike Hanlon's drug use is said to mirror a part of the novel that was cut from the first movie, where the kids participate in a Native American ritual to try and understand Pennywise even further.
"It resonates with what the kids do when they go to the smokehouse in the Barrens. 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 Chüd."
In the original book, the King's Ritual of Chud (which is not a reference to Stephen King's C.H.U.D.) is described as a "Lovecraftian spell, an old-world mysticism that involves a duel of imagination between the shapeshifting trickster and the children (now adults) who want to end It once and for all." There is one member of The Losers Club that will not return to fight Pennywise. In the opening chapters of the second half of the novel, Stan Uris (Wyatt Oleff) takes his own life, when he's contacted by Hanlon to return to Derry, Maine and fight Pennywise again. In the first movie, Stan comes face to face with the creepy woman from the painting in his father's study, whose claws are sucking Stan's own face into its mouth. While his friends arrive in time to save him, the ordeal haunts him for the rest of his life, leading to his suicide. Here's what Andy Muschietti had to say about this aspect of the sequel.
"There is something in the future for him, taking his own life, that finds its seed in this film. He is the one who doesn't want to accept what's going on. And being the one who didn't want to participate he gets the worst part."
The director and producer also confirmed that Bill Skarsgard will in fact be back as Pennywise. IT debuted with a massive $123.4 million, more than twice the projected $60 million that most box office analysts were predicting it would make in its opening weekend. The film has already nearly made four times the $35 million budget in just the first three days, with an additional $66 million internationally for a global opening weekend of $189.7 million. As IT continues its impressive box office run, hopefully we'll have more on IT 2 very soon.