‘IT’ Director Spills Details on ‘Chapter Two’ and the Future of the Losers Club
Although Warner Bros. and New Line have yet to formally greenlight IT: Chapter Two, director Andy Muschietti and his producing partner (and sister) Barbara are already developing the follow-up to one of this year’s biggest hits. With a record-breaking opening weekend and screenwriter Gary Dauberman reportedly on board for the sequel, it shouldn’t be long before WB gives the go-ahead. Until then, Muschietti is spilling the beans on his plans for Chapter Two and how the young cast factors into the story, which is set 27 years after the first film.
The decision to split Stephen King’s epic horror novel in half was a controversial one, but it paid off for Muschietti’s adaptation of IT, which centers on a group of misfit kids — aka the Losers Club — who team up to confront (and hopefully destroy) the evil entity that lurks beneath their town. By now, it’s not a spoiler to say that the story doesn’t end when the first film does. Fulfilling a blood oath, the kids return to their hometown 27 years later to face Pennywise once again.
As was reported last week, the young (and totally awesome) cast of kids is expected to return for the sequel, likely in flashbacks. Muschietti expanded on this concept in a thorough interview with Entertainment Weekly:
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 acknowledged a sense of urgency to lock the kids in because they are “growing very fast.” Grossing over $120 million in its first weekend, IT had the biggest opening for an R-rated horror movie and the biggest debut for a horror film, period. But the Muschiettis aren’t sitting idly by while they await the inevitable greenlight from Warner Bros.
Speaking with EW, Andy Muschietti revealed a few key plot details for his sequel, which delivers on the promise of the first installment: Pennywise comes back every 27 years to wreak murderous havoc on the small town of Derry, Maine. So the kids, now adults, will have to come back, too. Muschietti didn’t reveal his potential casting for the grown-up Losers Club (though we have our own ideas), but he did discuss plans for the two members who were somewhat short-changed in the character development department: Stan and Mike.
If you’re still with us, Muschietti revealed that Mike will indeed stay behind in Derry, just as he did in the novel. The first film gave quite a bit of Mike’s plot to Ben, leading some (like me) to speculate that Ben might be the one to stay behind and become the town librarian in the sequel. But Mike will have a lot more to do in the sequel — and it doesn’t sound pretty:
My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” the filmmaker said. “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.
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.
As for Stan, fans of King’s novel are well-aware of his tragic fate, which occurs early on in the “present” timeline: The idea of returning to Derry is too overwhelming for Stan, who is still traumatized by their childhood experiences, so he takes his own life.
This will also happen in Muschietti’s sequel. It’s a pivotal moment that the director says is foreshadowed in the first film:
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.
There’s much more in EW’s full feature on the sequel (or what can be said of it for now), which probably won’t arrive until 2019.