Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, 'IT CHAPTER TWO' brings the characters - who've long since gone their separate ways - back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film.
Ahead of the hotly anticipated return of Pennywise the dancing clown in IT Chapter Two, we bring you 12 spine-tingling facts about the Stephen King-adapted sequel. Are you ready to float again?
Chapter One of IT is the highest-grossing horror movie of all time with a monstrous 700 million dollars in global box office receipts (including 42 million pounds in the UK).
With anticipation at fever pitch, the sequel is currently tracking to be even bigger, with some in the industry believing that it could burst through the billion barrier. What a feat that would be!
Which isn’t a coincidence. If you’ve read the 1986 Stephen King novel on which the film is based (or, indeed, seen Chapter One of IT), you’ll know that the ancient evil that plagues Derry, Maine returns every 27 years to feed on the terrified residents who live there (usually kids, as they scare more easily).
Playing the grown-up versions of Beverly, Bill, Richie, Mike, Ben, Eddie and Stan – aka the Losers Club – are Jessica Chastain (a two-time Oscar nominee for Zero Dark Thirty and The Help), James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone and Andy Bean.
Although the action this time focuses on the Losers Club as adults, the young stars from the first film – Sophia Lillis, Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Chosen Jacobs – are also back for this sequel, reprising their roles in flashbacks.
And guess who else is back? Pennywise the shape-shifting devil clown, of course! And, according to actor Bill Skarsgard, he’s “scarier and angrier” than ever. Eep!
And when we say a lot, we mean a lot!
In one particularly gruesome scene, star Jessica Chastain (who plays the adult Beverly Marsh) found herself swimming in 4,500 gallons of fake blood – the most ever used in a film.
“It was really disgusting,” remembers Chastain. “It’s like slime, and it was up my nose, in my ears, and stuck on my eyeballs. I kind of did have some little fears, but I was happy to do it.”
For the sake of continuity, the young stars from the first film (whose characters appear in this sequel in flashbacks) were digitally de-aged in post-production, so they would appear to audiences exactly as they did in 2017’s chapter one.
“I’m very excited to see how they aged me down with CGI,” laughed Finn Wolfhard, who plays young Richie, at the IT Chapter Two premiere in Los Angeles. “At the same time, I think it’s going to be more weird to see me younger than seeing a clown eating kids!”
Just two months after IT Chapter Two bursts into ODEON cinemas, Doctor Sleep also floats to the surface – on 31 October to be exact.
Interestingly, as well as being an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, it also follows a famous King ‘kid’ in adult form: this time, young Danny Torrence. You know the one: “Redrum! Redrum!” (Look out for a Doctor Sleep blog from us very soon!)
“Even though we stay true to the spirit of the original story, there are some changes and detours and departures that are very interesting,” returning director Andy Muschietti explained to Collider. We can’t wait to see the end result!
Although scheduling issues ultimately scuppered it, director Andy Muschietti was at one point hopeful that his good friend Guillermo del Toro would make a cameo in IT Chapter Two as the janitor Ben bumps in to.
The two filmmakers became close after Oscar-winner del Toro produced Muschietti’s debut 2013 feature, Mama, which, incidentally, starred Jessica Chastain.
By supercut, we mean a version that combines chapters one and two into one long uber-movie – a bit like the 1990 TV mini-series, which saw Tim Curry playing Pennywise.
“I definitely want to make a supercut with material that nobody has seen because it was lifted from Chapter Two. But also new stuff, new material. It would probably be around six and a half hours,” admitted director Andy Muschietti recently. What a movie marathon that would be!
Returning writer Gary Dauberman has confirmed that It Chapter Two is “bloodier and just as scary, if not scarier than the first”.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Could we be seeing more Pennywise in the not so distant future?
Andy Muschietti isn’t ruling anything out. Chatting with iO9 he said: “It has been on Earth for millions of years. He's been in contact with humans for hundreds of years, every 27 years. There is a whole mythology to the book [and] mythology is something that always has opportunities to explore.” Oooh!