Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Starring: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgard
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Mystery
Release date: 06 September, 2019
Running Time: 169 Minutes
IT Chapter Two is an upcoming American supernatural horror film and the sequel to the 2017 film IT, both based on the 1986 novel IT by Stephen King. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman. Set in 2016, 27 years after the events depicted in the first film, it stars Bill Skarsgard, returning as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean portray the adult versions of the Losers Club. Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer and Wyatt Oleff return from the first film as the younger Losers.
Talks for an IT sequel i.e. IT Chapter Two began in February 2016, when Muschietti revealed the plan to get production underway. By September 2017, New Line Cinema announced that the sequel would be released in September 2019, with Dauberman writing the script, and Muschietti expected to direct the film. Principal photography on the film began in June 2018, at Pinewood Toronto Studios and on locations in and around Port Hope, Oshawa, and Toronto, Ontario, and wrapped on October 31, 2018. The film was produced by New Line Cinema and Vertigo Entertainment.
IT Chapter Two is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 06, 2019.
Twenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), it returns to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, the kids are disappearing again, so Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all… putting them directly in the path of the clown that became deadlier than ever.
— Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema
IT Chapter Two Movie Production:
On February 16, 2016, producer Roy Lee, in an interview with Collider, mentioned a second film, remarking, “[Dauberman] wrote the most recent draft working with [Muschietti], so it’s being envisioned as two movies”.
On July 19, 2017, Muschietti revealed that the plan is to get production underway for the sequel to It next spring, adding, “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 27 years later as adults, with flashbacks to 1989 when they were kids.”
On July 21, 2017, Muschietti spoke of looking forward to having a dialogue in the second film that does not exist within the first, stating, “… it seems like we’re going to do it. It’s the second half, it’s not a sequel. It’s the second half and it’s very connected to the first one.” Muschietti confirmed that two cut scenes from the first film will hopefully be included in the second, one of which being the fire at the Black Spot from the book.
On September 25, 2017, New Line Cinema announced that the sequel would be released on September 06, 2019, with Gary Dauberman and Jeffrey Jurgensen writing the script. Andy Muschietti was also expected to return to direct the sequel.
In September 2017, Muschietti and his sister mentioned that Jessica Chastain would be their top choice to play the adult version of Beverly Marsh. In November 2017, Chastain herself expressed interest in the project. Finally, in February 2018, Chastain officially joined the cast to portray the character, making the film her second collaboration with Muschietti after Mama.
By April 2018, Bill Hader and James McAvoy were in talks to join the cast to play adult versions of Richie Tozier and Bill Denbrough respectively.
In May 2018, James Ransone, Andy Bean, and Jay Ryan joined the cast to portray adult versions of Eddie Kaspbrak, Stanley Uris, and Ben Hanscom respectively.
In June 2018, Isaiah Mustafa joined the cast to portray the adult version of Mike Hanlon, while Xavier Dolan and Will Beinbrink were also cast as Adrian Mellon and Tom Rogan respectively. Later, Teach Grant was cast to play the adult version of Henry Bowers, previously played by Nicholas Hamilton in the first film, and Jess Weixler also joined the film to play Bill’s wife. This also marks the second collaboration between McAvoy, Chastain, Hader, Weixler and Beinbrink after The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
In September 2018, it was revealed that Javier Botet would appear in the film in an undisclosed role.
Principal photography on the film began on June 19, 2018, at Pinewood Toronto Studios and on locations in and around Port Hope, Oshawa and Toronto, Ontario, and wrapped on October 30, 2018.
The visual effects were provided by Method Studios, Supervised by Josh Simmonds and Nicholas Brooks as the Production Supervisor with help from Atomic Arts, Cubica, Lola VFX, Make VFX, Rodeo FX and Soho VFX. The young actors will be digitally de-aged to match their respective ages during filming of the first film.
The first image of the adult versions of the Losers Club was released on July 2, 2018 while principal photography began. The first teaser poster of the film was released on October 31, 2018. Footage from the film was shown at the CinemaCon on April 2, 2019.
A second teaser poster was released on May 9, 2019, along with a teaser trailer. On July 17, 2019, the second poster and the final trailer were released at San Diego Comic-Con.
It Chapter Two will be theatrically released in the United States on September 6, 2019 by Warner Bros. Pictures after releasing in Taiwan on September 5.
In the United States and Canada, the film is projected to gross $95–120 million in its opening weekend
It Chapter Two Movie Trailer:
It Chapter Two Movie Review:
Unbearably long yet brimming with ambition, It Chapter Two is a film that seems constantly at odds with itself – it rears to rise above horror movie cliches, but often succumbs to the trappings of the genre.
Like the first film, Chapter Two is at its best not when it is spooking you with loud noises or gory decapitations, but when it is riding rickety bicycles with the wind in its hair; when it is leaping off cliffs for a swim in the lake; and when it is making juvenile jokes at the expense of mothers.
It is unfortunate then, that director Andy Muschietti (who was presumably granted some level of final cut after having delivered the biggest horror film in history), doubles down on the least interesting elements of the story in the film’s bloated final act. And with the exception of a couple of key changes, his movie is largely faithful to Stephen King’s novel, which, at over 1000 pages, if held in one’s hand could be used as an effective weapon against Pennywise the clown.
It has been 27 years since The Losers defeated the evil entity and saved the cursed town of Derry. And then they fled. Each of them, except Mike Hanlon, who chose to remain. Bill is a successful novelist whose inability to come up with good endings to his stories hangs like an albatross over his head (and his career); Ben has ‘lost a couple of pounds’ and is now a prominent architect – and ‘hot’, according to Richie, who in a slight diversion from the book, is a popular stand-up comedian. Eddie runs a limo business; Beverly is a designer. When a new wave of murders hits Derry, like clockwork 27 years after the previous one, Mike picks up his phone and makes five very ominous calls, summoning his old friends to fulfil the pact they made as children.
But the years have created a vacuum in the minds of The Losers, and the physical distance has erected barriers between them. Not only are their memories of the past foggy – perhaps a coping mechanism for their shared trauma – their friendship must first be rekindled. Old wounds are exposed; old heartbreaks and joys are reawakened. These are King mainstays; few writers have the ability to address themes of childhood pains and friendship with such clarity and insight. As children, we are braver, we operate on instinct and heart; adulthood brings with it a rationality that could easily be confused with fear. This is the idea that King taps into so deftly, time and again.
And to Muschietti’s credit, he does a tremendous job of interpreting these themes cinematically. Some of his scene transitions, especially in the film’s wickedly entertaining opening act, are stunning. Water droplets turn to blood, red balloons travel across decades, adults rub shoulders with their childhood selves as reality blends brilliantly with memory. By echoing scenes from the first film, and by revisiting locations of The Losers’ past adventures, Muschietti displays a visual ambition that reminded me of what Danny Boyle achieved in his Trainspotting sequel, another film about growing up.
And despite his regular indulgences, Muschietti seems to understand the crucial difference between true horror and imagined fear. It Chapter Two is a scary film, but not for reasons you’d expect. For instance, I was never affected by the sight of Pennywise the clown. Muschietti could have had him drool in my face and I wouldn’t care. But I was utterly engrossed by the personal stories of The Losers. Despite featuring multiple gruesome murders of children, there wasn’t a more terrifying scene in the film for me, than the one in which Beverly, a victim of childhood abuse at the hands of her father, is shown to be married to another violent man – a monster more unnerving than any clown can be. Is this the fate that awaits victims of abuse? Do they get accustomed to the violence? Do they crave it?
Can Bill ever forgive himself for being tangentially responsible for his brother Georgie’s death? Can Eddie emerge from under the shadow of his mother? Or Richie from his closet? When it is contemplating these questions, It Chapter Two floats. The rest of the time, it feels oddly restrained by the self-imposed limitations of its genre. With disappointing regularity, it resorts to cheap horror tricks like jump scares and needless gore, despite having proven that neither is necessary for an emotionally engaging experience.
In its dense second act, the films splits The Losers up and sends them on individual journeys of self-discovery. But instead of focussing on character work, Muschietti and his writer, Gary Dauberman, take this as an excuse to come up with half-a-dozen horror set pieces. Some of them, especially the Rosemary’s Baby inspired one with Beverly that we saw in the first trailer, are admittedly quite good. Another, in which Bill enters a hall of mirrors inspired by The Lady from Shanghai, is excellently staged.
But these elaborate set pieces are mostly a preamble for the extended ‘boss battle’ between The Losers and Pennywise, which simply did not work for me. Set against a confluence of loony lore and insane imagery, the CGI-heavy confrontation was exhausting, and emotionally empty. It is single-handedly responsible for ruining a film that routinely overextends its reach, and for suppressing the otherwise spectacular performances of its cast.
Of the newcomers, Jay Ryan as the adult Ben, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, and Bill Hader as Richie are outstanding – each of them retaining the essence of the kid actors’ performances from the first film, and instilling into their characters a weariness that comes only with age.
At close to three hours long, It Chapter Two is a physically draining experience; one that requires the sort of riches that can afford exorbitantly priced theatre snacks, and patience that I doubt modern audiences have. It leaves you with the decidedly draining feeling of having aged 27 years yourself, albeit with more than a few fond memories to look back on.