Stephen King’s original novel IT was a weighty tome coming in at over a 1000 pages and detailed the way that a demonic-entity – who has the persona of a clown named Pennywise – terrorises a group of young kids (‘The Losers Club’) and then years later when they all return as adults to their hometown of Derry. The original screen adaptation, a two-part limited series in 1990, went back and forth between the time-frames to tell its story. However when a new version was proposed for the big-screen, the creative decision was to split the two time-frames into two distinct movies.
That first part, actually set twenty-seven years ago, was released into multiplexes in 2017 and after an opening weekend of $123.4 million went on to become the most successful horror movie on record (beating out the likes of The Exorcist) and so there are high expectations for this second chapter set in the modern era which arrives on 7th September. It starred Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben and Chosen Jacobs as Mike. Bill Skarsgard essayed the deadly clown Pennywise.
Chapter Two needed older actors for the roles and it’s an impressive ensemble. James McAvoy is Bill, Jessica Chastain is Beverly, Bill Hader is Richie, James Ransone is Eddie, Andy Bean is Stanley, Jay Ryan is Ben and Isaiah Mustafa plays Mike. Many of their younger counterparts will also appear in brief callbacks. It’s also known that some of the controversial aspects of the original book which were left out of the original mini-series (including the death of a young gay man in modern-day Derry – an aspect of the hate and intolerance that Pennywise has sewn into the town – and Beverly being the victim of domestic abuse) will be included in this latest film.
IT: Chapter Two is released by Warner Bros. and opens on 5th September.