IT was one of the most talked about horror’s in recent memory, and it’s now finally out to own on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.
IT took the global box-office by storm last year, becoming the highest grossing horror film in American history. That’s some achievement, and Warner Bros didn’t take long to greenlight IT: Chapter 2 to capitalise on that good fortune.
IT: Chapter 2 is due in cinemas on 6th September 2019.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story of IT, Stephen King’s seminal classic was adapted from the best-selling book to the small screen in 1990 for a two part, made-for-TV movie starring Tim Curry. A group of kids experience nightmarish visions of a clown who surfaces every 27 years in their hometown of Derry to feast on its inhabitants.
The story then shifts to the kids as 40-somethings who reluctantly return home to end the evil once and for all. The new 2017 version (which spookily was released 27 years after the original) makes some crucial changes, namely that the kid’s story now takes up the entire duration of the first film.
With talk of the IT sequel currently the hot topic circulating around Hollywood, we thought we’d take a look at the franchise and see where we’d like the second chapter to go.
1. The casting
This is the biggest question to haunt the sequel. To keep with the style and vision of the first film, they should cast relative unknowns. However, IT made so much money at the box-office that there’ll be a lot of pressure to populate it with familiar faces. This isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but it needs to avoid stunt casting for the sake of it.
Higher profile names for the adult versions of Bill, Beverly, Richie, Stan, Eddie, Mike, and Ben could detract from the central friendship of the film, especially if we are bringing that actor’s baggage to the movie (which makes it very hard to separate from the narrative at times).
That said, it looks like the hotly tipped front-runner Jessica Chastain has been cast as Beverly. For star power, she would deliver the high profile that the film craves. James McAvoy is also touted as the adult Bill Denbrough. But I would stop there. I wouldn’t necessarily feel the need for all of the characters to be Oscar worthy. Let’s not forget that the power of IT: Chapter 1 came squarely from the dynamic of unknowns who made us believe they were life-long friends. So Chastain and McAvoy would work just fine for me from an A-List perspective.
James Ransone, who seriously impressed in the Sinister horror movie franchise has been cast as Eddie Kaspbrak and there’s a rumour that Bill Hader will play Richie Tozier.
2. The main plot
If we follow the main narrative as a guide, then IT: Chapter 2 will continue the story on with the kids now as adults, having to return to Derry when evil rises again. This will most likely be the sole focus of the second film, but don’t rule out a few hints at a sequel or even a prequel. I think this would be a great move to widen out the story of Pennywise and to learn a bit more about the evil.
3. The human element
I’d also like to see the human element explored further with the kids now as adults. I’m sure there will be flashbacks in IT: Chapter 2 but I’d like to see exactly how Bill, Mike, Ben etc all are as adults. There’s a limit to how much development you can give multiple characters in a 2 hour film that has a lot to pack in, but the first film managed to really give us an insight into the lives of the kids and their respective predicaments.
4. Don’t play your hand too early
I felt that director Andy Muschietti played his hand far too early in IT when we see Georgie get taken by Pennywise in the rain-soaked residential streets. He’s gone for a quick, sharp gore-scare to kick things off, with lots of blood to boot (and it’s quite disturbing in its own right) but it shows far too much of Pennywise far too soon. Hopefully the sequel allows the tension to build up a bit.
5. Be more scary…
I’m in the minority here, but I really wanted IT to be far scarier than it was.
Every time Pennywise shows up onscreen, he’s scary in an in-your-face way, but his impact slowly diminishes and the film relies too heavily on jump scares. No matter who you are, if a balloon pops and a clown is running at you, you’ll feel trepidation but the original Tim Curry one conjured up frights on many different levels, something I don’t feel this iteration of IT does. Perhaps the darker tone of IT: Chapter 2 will address this concern.
6. The omissions
One thing that IT did so well was in the way it handled its artistic licence with the source material. No one wanted to see the infamous ‘orgy’ scene that was in the book so audiences were grateful for that omission in IT: Chapter 1. Different interpretations hold valid points in any reimagining, and surely that’s the creative point of a reboot. So hopefully IT: Chapter 2 will feel justified in making as many changes as it sees fit to keep with the tone and ambience set in the first film.
7. Get Tim Curry to do a cameo
This has to happen, surely? For me, he’ll always be the best Pennywise despite the stellar work of Bill Skarsgård. It would be a fanboy/girl dream to see the two of them onscreen together for a scene or two. Suffering a stroke in 2012, Curry appeared in good spirits when discussing IT at recent fan-conventions this year. Hopefully something can happen because everyone would love to see him onscreen in any capacity.
8. Keep things contained in Derry
The claustrophobia of the story is a key to its success. With a desire to branch out and extend this into a horror franchise, there will be a need to widen the net, but IT: Chapter 2 must not do this at the expense of a close-knit story. By all means stretch out the natural parameters of the narrative, but don’t do it at the expense of character development.
9. The finale
Anything has to be better than that terrible spider-clown thingy from the TV mini-series. But the final fight needs to be a proper culmination of events in the film. The horror thinned out quite quickly in IT: Chapter 1 so by the time the finale arrived, we had pretty much already seen all that Pennywise had to offer.
10. Going beyond IT: Chapter 2
Who’s to say that IT: Chapter 2 is the final chapter? If Jason has taught us anything from the Friday the 13th films, it’s that a movie monster is only dead when the box-office says it is. So it looks like Pennywise has nothing to really worry about in the short-term. Depending on where Chapter 2 goes, I think I’d prefer to see an IT prequel movie – the story of Pennywise told from the point of view of the townsfolk. There’s plenty of creepy baggage to unpack there, and the ye-olde setting should lend itself well to the horror of the story.
What do you want to see happen in IT: Chapter 2? Let us know on our social channel on Twitter.
IT is available to own and download now, & IT: Chapter 2 is due to be released on 6th September 2019.