With advance positive reviews, great buzz and less than a week until IT opens in theaters, excited Stephen King fans are beginning to look ahead to the inevitable sequel should IT become a huge commercial hit at the box office.
But they are not the only ones looking ahead, so is director Andy Muschetti, who is already planning for the sequel. For those not familiar with the classic King story, the current film is the first half of a two-part story. According to the Muschetti, who is set to return to direct the sequel, Part 2 will return to the 1980s and explore the cosmic dimension.
In a recent interview with Yahoo, Muschetti revealed that he plans to explore the otherworldly “Deadlights,” which features heavily in King’s book, and is actually where the true form of Pennywise resides. He also made it clear that the sequel will not be entirely confined to the present day reality of the adult Losers’ Club, and will return to 1989 as well.
“I really wanted to focus on the emotional journey of the group of kids. Getting in to that other dimension — the other side — was something that we could introduce in the second part. In the book the perspective of the writing… is always with the Losers, so everything they know about Pennywise is very speculative and shrouded in absurdity, so I wanted to respect that mystery feeling of not knowing what’s on the other side. I also wanted to leave something for the second half, so I didn’t want to get in trouble with that — going into the macroverse or that transdimensional stuff — and keep it grounded, from the point of view of the kids.”
In the original 1986 novel (and the 1990 TV miniseries) IT sees Bill Denborough (Jaeden Lieberher) and the Losers Club first confronting Pennywise as kids through the “Ritual of Chüd.” The gang enters another dimension and Pennywise is revealed to be a huge otherworldly spider-creature located in a strange realm known as the “deadlights.”
Elsewhere in the same interview, Muschetti admits there was another reason for not including the other dimension – budget.
“Also, there’s a physical truth that it’s a movie that has a budget. And I didn’t want to get into a depiction of a realm that f***s up our budget, the creation of a world that will basically suck up half of our budget, and would have to sacrifice a lot of things.
Another interesting tidbit from the interview is that Muschetti says that there “there will be a dialogue between the two timelines” in the sequel. While the book cuts back and forth between both eras repeatedly, Muschetti’s use of the word “dialogue” suggests that IT: Part 2 might actually include encounters between the children and their adult counterparts.
Muschetti, who is also signed to helm Robotech from Sony, has said that the script for Part 2 will likely be finished by January 2018, with production hopefully underway by March. Realistically, that means that the second chapter of IT’s story will probably not be seen by audiences until at least 2019.
It arrives in cinemas Sept. 8. Here is the synopsis and the third extended trailer.
When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise, an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
10 Stephen King Adaptations Hollywood Needs To Get Right
With The Dark Tower and It, two of King’s most famous and beloved works, reaching the big screen, it feels like the gates are opening on a new age of Stephen King adaptations
Already we’ve seen 1) a new Carrie movie, 2) Under the Dome and 11/22/63 get TV adaptations 3) Netflix’s upcoming Gerald’s Game, 4) a TV series based on the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, 5) Josh Boone looks to make Revival his follow-up to X-Men: The New Mutants, 5) a new version of Hearts in Atlantis is in the works (just called Hearts) and 6) a Cujo remake, with the amazing title of C.U.J.O. Even Cell got made, plus a personal favorite of mine The Mist is back in the form of a new Syfy series airing later this year (based on both the original novella and Frank Darabont’s superb 2007 film).
Our age of cinematic universes feels tailor-made for the world-renowned author. King is known not only for his productivity but for how his stories interlock together in the same universe (multiverse, if you want to get specific). His entire oeuvre is connected by characters, locations, and events, all centered around the literal and figurative Dark Tower, the structure and book series sit at the center of King’s worlds. Of course, no one entity owns the rights to all of King’s works, so we won’t be seeing, say, Pennywise the Dancing Clown say hi to Idris Elba’s gunslinger in a movie anytime soon, but it speaks to King’s continued relevance.
There are, of course, the adaptations that are sacrosanct and need to no update, plus others where we are simply waiting to see if they happen. Speaking of Darabont, he delivered a trilogy of amazing King adaptations in my opinion between The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Rob Reiner also mastered the artform, giving us Stand by Me and Misery. There’s already a perfectly-good The Dead Zone movie and TV show. The Tommyknockers and Desperation got the miniseries treatment in 1991 and 2006, respectively. The latter came with a teleplay by King himself, while the former was announced for a new miniseries back in 2013 along with Rosemary’s Baby, the failure of which may have something to do with the radio silence since the announcement. The Shining is actually not one, with King famously disliking the Stanley Kubrick film enough to make a miniseries of his own to “correct” the record (and a Shining prequel is first on our list).
While some works defy or seek re-adaptation, the breadth of the man’s work means there’s plenty of new stuff to mine in the coming years as well. Click Next to learn which to watch out for!
Honorable mentions: The Dark Half, Dolores Claiborne, Apt Pupil, Dreamcatcher