Stephen King’s It broke records last year with an opening weekend of more than $123 million — the biggest debut of all time for the month of September. The film’s phenomenal success at the box office virtually guaranteed a sequel, and a few weeks after the film’s premiere, It: Chapter Two was given a 2019 release date.
The latest update on the film offers a few more photos from the set featuring everyone’s favorite nightmare clown.
It: Chapter Two focuses on the first film’s childhood friends, who return home as adults to confront the supernatural killer Pennywise the Dancing Clown, who terrorized them years earlier. Warner Bros. Pictures showed off the first footage from the film during Comic-Con International in July, and filming is still underway on the project.
Here’s everything we know about It: Chapter Two so far.
- Title: It: Chapter Two
- Release date: September 6, 2019
- Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Bill Skarsgård
- Director: Andrés Muschietti
Cameras began rolling on It: Chapter Two in late June, and photos from the set — both official and otherwise — have been finding their way online throughout the production.
In September, Bill Skarsgård was seen in full costume as Pennywise for a scene shot in a muddy swamp in Port Hope, Canada.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) September 18, 2018
Earlier in the month, a series of photos found their way online featuring Pennywise sitting on top of the Paul Bunyan statue in Derry, Maine, which plays a role in King’s original novel.
— DR Movie News (@DRMovieNews) September 2, 2018
Jessica Chastain confirmed the first day of photography in Toronto, Ontario, with a June post on Instagram. The photo depicts the transformation from Sophia Lillis’ portrayal of Beverly Marsh in the first film to the now-adult character played by Chastain.
Set 27 years after the events of the original film, It: Chapter Two follows the adult members of the “Losers Club,” who were introduced as children in the first film, as they return to Derry, Maine, to confront Pennywise the Clown for a second — and hopefully final — time.
Although the next movie will take place in the present day, the younger versions of the characters will still be an important part of the story.
The film will also retain one of the weirder elements from its source material: A scene from the story’s finale involving something called “the Ritual of Chüd.”
In King’s novel, the adult Losers Club battles Pennywise by performing an elaborate ritual involving surreal imagery, metaphysical concepts, and even the telling of jokes. While it’s uncertain what form this scene will take in the movie, screenwriter Gary Dauberman confirmed that the ritual is indeed in Chapter Two.
“The Ritual of Chüd is challenging, but it’s such an important component to the book that we had to address it,” he told Cinema Blend. “That stuff is difficult to balance, but because [director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and I] worked with each other before, when I’m writing pages and all that stuff, it becomes more of a conversation and less like, ‘Hey, here’s what I did.’ It’s sort of organic; it’s really kind of just chipping away at the stone and trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of more metaphysical aspects of that book.”
One notable change from the novel is what happens to Mike, the one who stays in Derry and becomes a librarian, keeping watch for Pennywise’s return.
“My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” Andy Muschietti 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.”
New Line Cinema gave audiences their first look at footage from It: Chapter Two during Comic-Con International in San Diego, and while it wasn’t released to the public, descriptions of the footage found their way online after it debuted.
#Scarediego showed a behind-the-scenes look and brief scene from the currently filming #ITChapter2; it went like this:
Bill Hader: Sup, Losers?
James Ransome: Holy sh*t!
Hader: So what do you guys wanna talk about?
Muschietti: Bring your adult diapers. #SDCC pic.twitter.com/tr9m9DmpN1
— Fandango (@Fandango) July 19, 2018
Along with bringing back the young cast from It: Chapter One, the sequel will feature adult versions of those same characters. The actors portraying the adult members of “Losers Club” tormented by Pennywise the Clown 27 years ago are as follows:
- James McAvoy (X-Men franchise) as Bill Denbrough (previously played by Jaeden Lieberher)
- Jessica Chastain (Crimson Peak) as Beverly Marsh (previously played by Sophia Lillis)
- Bill Hader (Trainwreck) as Richie Tozier (previously played by Finn Wolfhard)
- Jay Ryan (Beauty and the Beast) as Ben Hanscom (previously played by Jeremy Ray Taylor)
- James Ransone (Sinister 2) as Eddie Kaspbrak (previously played by Jack Dylan Grazer)
- Andy Bean (Here and Now) as Stanley Uris (previously played by Wyatt Oleff)
- Isaiah Mustafa (Shadowhunters) as Mike Hanlon (previously played by Chosen Jacobs)
The studio released a full cast photo of the seven adult characters during a script read-through shortly after cameras began rolling.
— IT Movie???? (@ITMovieOfficial) July 2, 2018
Also returning from the first film is Bill Skarsgård as the terrifying supernatural killer Pennywise the Clown.
The film’s supporting cast includes Teach Grant (Altered Carbon) as Henry Bowers, the adult version of the character previously played by Nicholas Hamilton, as well as Xavier Dolan (Boy Erased) as Adrian Mellon, Will Beinbrink (Queen of the South) as Tom Rogan, and Jess Weixler (Teeth) as Audra Phillips.
Updated on September 19, 2018: Added more set photos featuring Pennywise the Clown.