The latest stab at Stephen King‘s IT absolutely belted box office expectations, earning $US123 million ($153 million) in its opening week.

As someone who’s never held an irrational fear of clowns, I gotta say, this movie scared the living shit out of me and by the time it was over, I was exhausted. The jump-scares are numerous and frequent. Bring a change of underpants.

IT was adapted from King’s 1,000+ page novel of the same name, so the plot isn’t exactly a secret, but I’ll warn you right now, there’s plenty of spoilers ahead in this piece, particularly about the second half of the book and upcoming sequel. If you’re keen on avoiding them, leave now. RUN.

Ok, so for those familiar with the book, you’ll know that the story of The Losers Club is told over two timelines – them as children and them as adults. The latest adaptation is only half of the full story, leaving the movie open to a sequel where the kids return to the town of Derry as adults to fight off that motherfucker Pennywise (or rather, the evil running him) once again. Pray for them.

At the end of the film, “CHAPTER ONE” appears prior to the credits, so while New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. are yet to green-light the second film, it’s pretty much a sure thing. Which brings us to the first point.

The Actors Who Are Coming Back

Right off the bat, there wouldn’t even be a second movie if Pennywise didn’t rise back up from the depths of the sewers to feast on children, so you can bet your ass Bill Skarsgård will be returning.

Speaking of feasting on children, they’ll be scurrying back on set, too. Not only as their adult doppelgängers, but as the kids we loved from the first film. You see, flashbacks of their 1980s selves will be pivotal to the plot of the sequel, so expect new scenes from them.

“On the second movie, that dialogue between timelines will be more present,” said director Andy Muschietti. “If we’re telling the story of adults, we are going to have flashbacks that take us back to the ‘80s and inform the story in the present day.”

In terms of who the adults will be, no one is actually locked in at this stage, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about it. The rumour amongst folks who worked on the film (including the kids) is that Jessica Chastain is a popular choice for adult Beverly Marsh. Hmm, yep, we can see it.

Here’s Everything We Know About How Fucked Up The ‘IT’ Sequel’s Gonna Be

Things Are Gonna Get Dark For Mike Hanlon

In the book, young Mike stays in Derry to keep watch over the town while the other members of The Losers Club pursue lives as far away as possible. As one of the only black kids in town, he cops a heap of racial abuse from Derry’s fucked up bullies.

Here’s Everything We Know About How Fucked Up The ‘IT’ Sequel’s Gonna Be

King’s version of adult Mike is a mild-mannered librarian who collects and records the gruesome details of the town’s past, which takes quite a toll on him. Muschietti’s vision for the character is far darker as a result of his studies on the evil shit going down beneath the ground.

“My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” he said. “I want to make his character the one pivotal character who brings them all together, but staying in Derry took a toll with him. I want him to be a junkie actually. A librarian junkie. When the second movie starts, he’s a wreck.”

“He’s not just the collector of knowledge of what Pennywise has been doing in Derry. He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him. The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.”

Pennywise’s Weakness

Mike’s descent into mind-bending drug experimentation will serve as more than just character development. In the novel, the kids conduct a Native American ritual to channel the supernatural plane, which lets them communicate with entities that help them kill the hideous evil.

As this scene was cut from the movie, Mike’s experiences over 30 years leads him to the same conclusions.

“It resonates with what the kids do when they go to the smokehouse in the Barrens,” Muschietti said. “By inhaling these fumes from the fire they have visions of It, and the origin of It, and the falling fire in the sky that crashed into Derry millions of years ago. We’ve brought that to Mike, by the end of those 30 years Mike has figured out the Ritual of Chüd.”

The Ritual of Chüd is a cooked Lovecraftian spell the group need to learn in order to piss IT off back to wherever it came from.

One Of The Losers Won’t Come Back

If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that one of the crew just can’t stand to go through the trauma of facing IT again and instead, decides to take his own life.

Stan Uris is left so traumatised after the events of their first battle, he simply refuses to relive them. Like Mike, he also copped it from the town’s bullies.

Here’s Everything We Know About How Fucked Up The ‘IT’ Sequel’s Gonna Be“There is something in the future for him, taking his own life, that finds its seed in this film,” Muschietti said. “He is the one who doesn’t want to accept what’s going on. And being the one who didn’t want to participate he gets the worst part.”

The part in question is where Stan gets neck deep inside the jaws of the painting lady’s (his own version of what horrifies him) haggard mouth and sees some shit, man. He lives through it, but the stress clearly leaves a psychological wound that refuses to heal.

Source: Entertainment Weekly
Image: 'IT' / Warner Bros.