Stephen King’s iconic work “IT” is such a dense and sprawling novel that doing it in a single film is near impossible. Warner Bros. Pictures realised this when planning the upcoming film adaptation, and so decided to split it into two.
The story is set in a small town in Maine, where seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies, and a child-eating, sewer-dwelling monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard).
Much like the mini-series adaptation, the film was going to have the kids as the focus of the first film and the adult versions of those characters the focus of the second. However, talk of the second film seemingly dried up once production began last year.
Finally, a month-and-a-half out from the release of the first film, director Andres Muschietti has gone on the record about the second film and offers an update on plans for it. He tells Variety today:
“We are doing that [two films]. We’ll probably have a script for the second part in January. Ideally, we would start prep in March. Part one is only about the kids. Part two is about these characters 30 years later as adults, with flashbacks to 1989 when they were kids.”
By that schedule filming would begin mid-2018. The first “IT” began filming June 2016 which would suggest the second film could be released on the same weekend as the first film but in 2019.
Muschietti also addressed the only major concern that has been raised by the very well-received first trailer – that is the film’s handling of Pennywise. Judging by the footage so far he’s only been seen as a mute and creepy presence, but the helmer says you’ll also see the cute side to the character:
“I wanted to stay true to the essence of the character. I knew that I didn’t want to go the road of Tim Curry [who played Pennywise in the TV miniseries]. Bill Skarsgard caught my attention. The character has a childish and sweet demeanour, but there’s something very off about him. Bill has that balance in him. He can be sweet and cute, but he can be pretty disturbing.”
Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Nicholas Hamilton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, and Jeremy Ray Taylor also star in the first film which opens September 8th.