IT Chapter Two has arrived in theaters and those who have seen the sequel know there is much to discuss. Virtually any sequel has some level of expectations placed upon it, but this is truly about as big as things get. While we'll surely be debating the degree to which director Andy Muschietti and writer Gary Dauberman succeeded overall, the screenwriter has opened up about one of the most surprising elements of the movie.
Warning: spoilers ahead for IT Chapter Two. Richie Tozier, as portrayed by Finn Wolfhard in the first movie and Bill Hader as the adult version of the character this time around, is known for his foul mouth and quippy nature. He's the comic relief. He steals the show. But as anyone who has seen the sequel knows, he's also holding onto a big secret. Richie is gay. Not only that, but he was in love with his good pal Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer/James Ransone).
While not explicitly stated in a heavy-handed way, the movie goes out of its way to make this clear. It adds a whole new dimension to the character and provides a lot of depth and complexity. This was present in Stephen King's original novel, but in a more subtle fashion. Gary Dauberman, in a recent interview, explained why they decided to handle things a bit more head-on. Here's what he had to say about it.
"There is a subtext in the novel and Andy [Muschietti, director] and Barbara [Muschietti, producer] and I talked about it, but it didn't feel like a choice, it just felt like a natural part of his character. But, I love that love story. I think that is a special part of the movie and a special part of the character. Because it felt like it was part of his character. I think we pulled it out more, and it is more prominent in the movie. It is a part of the many things that define him. The carving of the initials: I give credit to Andy on that. It was a great way to button that up."
As referenced, the end of the movie sees the adult Richie going back to the bridge in Derry to finish what he started as a kid, by carving out the rest of the initial "E" to signify his love for Eddie. Tragically, during the Losers' final encounter with Pennywise, Eddie gave his life, which clearly had the biggest effect on Richie. Which makes sense, given the love that he held onto for the better part of three decades.
Aside from this specific element of the character, Bill Hader's performance, overall, has been met with near-universal praise by critics and audiences alike. Hader provided a great deal of comedic relief in a sprawling horror epic, but he also added some major layers of human emotion as well. IT Chapter Two is in theaters now. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.