It looks like Pennywise the Clown’s well-deserved vacation is going to be cut about 25 years short. Warner Bros. has announced that the sequel to It, which is tentatively titled It: Chapter Two, will arrive in theaters on September 6, 2019. Anyone who’s familiar with the Stephen King novel on which the film is based, knows that the book’s second act (which runs parallel to its first) takes place 27 years after the Loser’s first encounter with Pennywise, when the killer clown returns from his slumber to once again torment the town of Derry.
That means the film will find our heroes fully-grown and back in their hometown to honor the blood-oath they took at the end of the first installment. There’s no telling how closely writer Gary Dauberman will stick to King’s original text, but based on the remarkable success of Chapter One—which took several creative liberties and still won King’s approval—look for Dauberman and director Andy Muschietti to once again try and forge their own path while simultaneously honoring the spirit of King’s landmark novel. With that said, let’s delve a little deeper into what we know about It: Chapter Two, so far.
Who will play the adult versions of The Losers? Though no official announcements have been made, we can all but guarantee that Bill Skarsgard will be back as Pennywise. We also expect the return of Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis and the rest of the young actors who brought the Losers to life, since they’ll be heavily featured in flashbacks. The big question is who will play the grownup versions of our beloved gang of outcasts? The internet dream casting machine has already kicked in to high gear, with names like Chadwick Boseman and Tobey Maguire being tossed around. One name that’s been mentioned on more than one occasion is Jessica Chastain. Lillis has said publicly that she would love to see Chastain play the adult version of Bev, and here’s why she might just get her wish. Chastain and Muschietti have remained close after she starred in his first film, Mama, and the director has let it be known that he would love Chastain to come on board his It sequel. There was a time when it might’ve difficult to imagine a star of her magnitude signing on for a sequel to a horror movie. But It isn’t just any horror movie. The sequel is expected to be one of the biggest films of 2019. Couple that with her relationship to the director, and suddenly landing Chastain doesn’t seem so far-fethed.
Will we learn more about where Pennywise comes from? In short, yes. Chapter One didn’t delve to deeply into the evil entity’s cosmic origins because as Muschietti put it, he wanted to focus on “the emotional journey of the group of kids.” That leaves plenty of room in the sequel to delve into where Pennywise came from, which book readers will tell you is pretty out there. One person who hopes to learn more about his origin story is Pennywise himself. “We’re in the early stages and I’m talking to Andy about it and figuring out what It will be… It’s a different story, but I’m excited to delve in deeper to the character as there’s more exploration for who Pennywise is, Skarsgard told Metro UK. “I think that’s what I wanted and that’s where I want to go for the second one, to delve into the psychological and metaphysical spaces of this transdimensional being.”
Mike will play a pivotal role. As the only black kid in Derry, Mike was mercilessly bullied by the townspeople, which made him an unusual choice to stay behind. According to Muschietti, that decision will ultimately take both a physical and emotional toll on the character. “My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” Muschietti told Entertainment Weekly. 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.” Muschietti adds that Mike’s drug addiction won’t stem from a desire to escape, but rather as a means to figuring out how to defeat Pennywise once and for all. “He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him,” the director added. “The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.”
The two timelines will intersect. As we mentioned earlier, Muschietti plans on featuring the young versions of the Losers via flashback. But as he told GQ earlier this month, he wants the past and the present to feed off one another in a way that will advance the story and feel organic. “I want to recover the dialogue of the two timelines. It was so prominent in the book, and such an important part of the story,” he said. “You’re gonna jump 27 years into the future—meaning, like, present-day—and… yeah. The Losers have to come back together to get the keys to find out how to defeat Pennywise. They basically have to retrieve memories of the summer of ’89 that they can’t remember. So… that’s, roughly, it.“