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IT Chapter 2 (also known as IT Chapter Two and IT: Part 2 - The Clown) is a 2019 American supernatural horror film based on the second half of Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. It is a sequel to IT (2017), and is the second film in the IT franchise.

Directed by Andy Muschietti from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Bill Skarsgård, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean.

Plot[]

In 2016, Adrian Mellon, a young gay man, visits the local carnival in Derry, Maine, with his boyfriend Don Hagarty. A youth gang, lead by John "Webby" Garton, shouts homophobic slurs at them, causing Adrian (who talks back to Webby) and Don to leave the carnival. Both are ambushed by the gang and severely beaten, and Adrian is thrown off the bridge into the water below. In the riverbank, he notices Pennywise offering him help. Don catches up to Adrian, but he witnesses Pennywise bite and removes Adrian's heart. Mike Hanlon, the only member of the Losers' Club who stayed in Derry, overhears the incident on a police scanner and rushes to the scene. Upon realizing that It has resurfaced, making such clear by painting "COME HOME" on the bridge wall in Adrian's blood, Mike resolves to call his friends back to Derry.

The remaining Losers, now in their early-forties, have long-since left Derry and forgotten much of their childhood memories, becoming very successful adults. Bill Denbrough is a successful author and screenwriter, but often gets criticized for his stories' endings. Beverly Marsh lives as a fashion designer but endures an abusive relationship with her husband, Tom Rogan. Ben Hanscom has lost weight and is a successful architect, but is also lonely. Richie Tozier has become a famous stand-up comedian. Edward "Eddie" Kaspbrak is a risk assessor, with an overbearing wife much like his mother, and Stanley Uris is a partner in a large accounting firm. When Mike calls them, they are all immediately disturbed by a sudden swell of fear and the return of their childhood hand scars, but reluctantly agree to return to Derry. All for Stanley, who, as a result of recalling more than any of his friends (sans Mike), commits suicide.

During this time, a flashback occurs to show Henry Bowers escaping the sewers, however, upon arriving back at home, he is arrested for the murder of his father. Back in the present, Henry is in a psych ward and is being followed around by a Red Balloon, symbolizing It's presence. Henry escapes and is on the move to murder the members of the Losers' Club.

The remaining members of the Losers' meet at Jade of the Orient, a local Chinese restaurant, taking great joy in being mostly reunited and gradually remembering their childhood experiences, though none initially remember Pennywise. After Mike reveals the reason why he asked them to return, they begin to open fortune cookies, finding a cryptic phrase that reads "Guess Stanley Could Not Cut It". Soon after, the remaining fortune cookies begin opening, revealing disturbing monstrosities inside including a spider with a baby's head, a one-winged bat, and an unborn bird covered in blood. On their way out of the restaurant, the losers come across a young boy named Dean. Dean greets Richie and quotes one of his lines. Richie, unfortunately, thinks Dean is It and grabs him by his arm and screams at him telling him he is not afraid. Dean stares in confusion and is ushered away by his parents.

Richie and Eddie accuse Mike of lying and upon learning that Stan is actually dead, try to leave, going back to the inn. Ben notices Beverly knows more about what is going on than the others and follows her back to the inn, leaving only Mike and Bill. While Bill does not accuse Mike of lying, he is a bit testy with him for not disclosing the truth immediately. After some prodding, Bill comes with Mike back to his loft in the town library, where he drugs Bill's water with special properties that help Mike explain what he has learned over the years, including the history of Derry and the origin of Pennywise. He also reveals that he has learned the latter from a Native American tribe, who also showed him the Ritual of Chüd; a supposed way of destroying It once and for all. Regaining his childhood resolve, Bill agrees to stay and finish Pennywise alongside his friends, taking back command at Mike's insistence.

At the hotel inn, Ben, Richie, and Eddie learn that Beverly has seen each of them die just as Bill and Mike arrive. They realize that Beverly being trapped in the deadlights as a child is what led her to have visions of them and other horrors. While Richie recommends they all just leave town and return later to fight Pennywise, Beverly and Mike tell him and the others that departing is not optional, as their past experiences with It has put them under a curse and "infected" them, which is why Stanley, the weakest of them, died and that they will share his fate if they do not fulfill their blood oath.

Mike first guides his friends across town to have them remember the town in full before they stop at their old clubhouse. There, Mike says that in order for the ritual to work, each Loser must have an artifact from their past to place in the ancient pottery; being in the clubhouse to locate Stanley's (a shower cap) due to his death. When told that they must find the artifacts on their own, Richie and Eddie insist otherwise for survival reasons until Bill reminds them of their fractured friendship during that summer; leading them to go their separate ways for a bit and therefore leaving out a chunk of their memories.

Beverly goes to her old home and finds a pack of cigarettes she hid as a child, in addition to Ben's love letter. Beverly encounters It disguised as an old lady named Mrs. Kersh. Pennywise attacks Beverly until she escapes but not before he taunts her by telling her that her visions mean nothing, as she will never be able to save her friends or anyone.

Bill purchases his old bike "Silver" from a pawn shop and goes to the sewer drain where Georgie was killed, flashing back to when he was a child asking Pennywise why It killed his brother. It tauntingly tells him that it was because he was not there to protect him. He recovers his paper boat after an encounter with Pennywise, voicing his hatred for the entity. Seeing Dean again, Bill learns that the young boy lives in his childhood home and that he often hears voices in the shower drains. Bill grabs the youngster and yells at Dean to leave Derry and never come back. This causes Dean to ride away on his skateboard freaked out.

Ben goes to the town's high school and finds his old yearbook page, which Beverly was the only person to sign, briefly recalling an experience to when Pennywise taunted and chased him through the school in the form of Beverly while insulting his weight and loneliness.

Eddie goes to a pharmacy and recovers an inhaler, recalling a childhood incident where he sees his mother being tied up and viciously assaulted by the Leper in the basement. He encounters the Leper again and manages to actually get the upper hand until it vomits on him, driving him to hysterically run out of the pharmacy.

Richie goes to an abandoned arcade where he finds an old game token, which he remembers a bad memory of him being taunted for his sexuality before being attacked by Pennywise and a giant Paul Bunyan statue. He is taunted by Pennywise in a similar way before he runs away, intent on leaving town regardless of the curse.

As Eddie arrives home from the pharmacy, he is stabbed in the cheek by Henry Bowers. Eddie removes the knife and fights Henry, but he escapes before Ben and Beverly can catch him. Bill finds a message from Pennywise reading "Won't be there for him either" and realizes that Pennywise is going after Dean at the carnival. Bill arrives and chases Dean into a hall of mirrors, but is too late, as he watches Pennywise break through the glass and violently devour Dean, much to Bill's horror.

Richie is close to leaving town, but ultimately changes his mind when he recalls attending Stan's bar mitzvah and the empowering speech he gave, returning in time to save Mike from Henry by killing him. Ben, Eddie, and Beverly arrive as well, each wondering where Bill is.

Bill, traumatized by his failure to save both Georgie and Dean and expressing his regret for leading them to fight Pennywise in the first place (thus leading to them being cursed), returns to Neibolt to murder It himself, ordering Mike and the others to stay away for fear of getting them killed. Nonetheless, the rest of the Losers follow Bill to the abandoned Neibolt house, assuring him that they are stronger together. Inside, the group is split up by Pennywise who takes the form of young Stanley's disembodied head to taunt the Losers Club, as well as a daunting message carved onto Ben's stomach, reading "home at last". After dealing with the threats, Bill yells at Eddie for his cowardice and almost getting Richie killed for it, but quickly forgives him when he realizes that it is what their enemy wants.

The group ventures into the sewers and make their way into a chasm where Mike sets up the steps necessary for the Ritual of Chüd, including burning the artifacts they gathered from their old memories. For Mike, it was the first stone thrown at their rock fight with the Bowers Gang, the day they rescued him from Henry, whose blood was on the stone. Mike instructs the others to chant a phrase, during which It's "deadlights" appear and make their way into the pottery. The ritual appeared to be a success, but a red balloon grows under the lid and out from the pottery, getting larger in size until it pops, revealing a giant version of It with spider-like legs and blades on the ends of them. Pennywise pressures Mike into telling the losers that the Native Americans who originally performed the ritual were killed as it did not work. Mike tells his friends that he genuinely believed that the tribe only failed because they didn't truly believe It could be killed, shattering his faith in their success and resigning himself to be killed while apologizing to his friends. Pennywise attempts to kill Mike first, but Bill and Ben grab him and attempt to make a run for it. They are unsuccessful, as Pennywise thrusts them (sans Mike, who is hiding) into nightmarish scenarios in which they are forced to escape from, resembling childhood memories from old places in Derry they spent time in.

Bill is forced to confront the fact that he pretended to be sick on the day of Georgie's death, inadvertently causing it. Beverly is tossed into bathroom stall filled with blood, repeatedly being taunted and insulted by manifestations of her husband and Greta as well as others. Ben is being buried alive in the clubhouse, being taunted by Pennywise that despite everything he accomplished in life, he is still just an overweight boy destined to be alone for the rest of his life. Richie and Eddie are forced to look for a way out via three doors titled "Scary", "Very Scary", and "Not Scary at all".

Eventually, Bill beats his nightmare by forgiving himself while Beverly finally realizes it was Ben who wrote her the love letter years ago, enabling her to work with him to break out of their nightmares together.

Richie and Eddie run from the doors and while Eddie trails behind, Richie notices that Pennywise is again about to kill a disheartened Mike. Richie saves Mike by tossing rocks at Pennywise and insulting It until he is caught by the deadlights. Eddie overcomes his fear and deals a serious blow to It, saving Richie. In his excitement, however, he is fatally impaled and tortured by Pennywise, much to the horror of his friends.

The Losers regroup around the dying Eddie and, upon learning of the latter's experience with It in the Pharmacy, Mike and Beverly realize It can be killed if they make him small enough for them to destroy him. Initially intending to squeeze through a hole, being cornered by It forces them to rethink their plan and instead decide to make Pennywise feel smaller by insulting It. The friends do so, causing It to physically grow smaller and weaker, regressing into a small, harmless clown-like creature. Mike tears out It's heart and as It weakly laughs that his enemies are no longer children, finally dies when they crush his heart together, ultimately avenging all of It's victims.

Eddie himself dies from his injuries and Richie refuses to accept this. As a result of It's demise, the cave, and by extension the Neibolt House, begins to disintegrate around them in response to its master's demise. The remaining Losers are forced to remove Richie and reluctantly leave Eddie's body behind, barely making it back outside before the house is completely destroyed. They return to the quarry where they once swam together and console Richie over Eddie's passing while Beverly and Ben finally share a kiss. Walking through town together, the five friends notice that the scars on their hands have disappeared, thus lifting their curse. They share a flashback to the aftermath of their first victory against It as children.

Sometime later, Bill begins to write a new book when he is called by Mike, both men discussing how they can now remember what they couldn't years ago due to their will to remember the good times and because It is no longer an influence on Derry. Bill is told by Mike about a letter from Stan that he wrote to every member of the Losers' Club before his death, explaining why he did it. Stanley committed suicide to "take himself off of the board”, knowing that he was far too terrified to return and would therefore hold them back while telling them to live life to the fullest. Meanwhile, Ben and Beverly start a romantic relationship and Richie returns to the bridge where he had once carved the initials of him and another person, now revealed to be Eddie. Richie re-carves them before leaving. Having spent his entire life in Derry and no longer having a reason to stay now that It is dead, Mike moves away to start a new life, ending the film.

Cast[]

  • James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough
    • Jaeden Lieberher as Young Bill Denbrough
  • Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh
    • Sophia Lillis as Young Beverly Marsh
  • Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom
    • Jeremy Ray Taylor as Young Ben Hanscom
  • Bill Hader as Richie Tozier
    • Finn Wolfhard as Young Richie Tozier
  • Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon
    • Chosen Jacobs as Young Mike Hanlon
    • Johnathan Sturgess as Younger Mike Hanlon
  • James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak
    • Jack Dylan Grazer as Young Eddie Kaspbrak
  • Andy Bean as Stanley Uris
    • Wyatt Oleff as Young Stanley Uris
  • Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise/IT/Mr. Robert "Bob" Gray
  • Teach Grant as Henry Bowers
    • Nicholas Hamilton as Young Henry Bowers
  • Jess Weixler as Audra Phillips
  • Will Beinbrink as Tom Rogan
  • Xavier Dolan as Adrian Mellon
  • Taylor Frey as Don Hagarty
  • Jake Weary as John "Webby" Garton
  • Josh Madryga as Steve Dubay
  • Katie Lunman  as Christopher Unwin and Betty Ripsom
  • Erik Junnola as Scuuzzah
  • Josh Madryga as Scuuzzah
  • Molly Atkinson as Sonia Kaspbrak and Myra Kaspbrak
  • Stephen Bogaert as Alvin Marsh
  • Martha Girvin as Patricia "Patty" Uris
  • Juno Rinaldi as Greta Keene
    • Megan Charpentier as Young Greta Keene
  • Joe Bostick as Mr. Keene
  • Jake Sim as Reginald "Belch" Huggins
  • Logan Thompson as Victor "Vic" Criss
  • Ari Cohen as Donald Uris
  • Luke Roessler as Dean
  • Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Victoria Fuller
  • Neil Crone as Chief Borton
  • John Connon as John Koontz

Production[]

Development[]

On February 16, 2016, producer Roy Lee, in an interview with Collider, mentioned a second It 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 production was set to begin in the spring of 2018, adding, "We'll probably have a script for the second part in January [2018]. 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 stated that two cut scenes from the first film will possibly 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 6, 2019, with Gary Dauberman writing the script and Andy Muschietti returning to direct. Dauberman would later leave the project to write and direct Annabelle Comes Home, while Jason Fuchswas brought in as his replacement.

Casting[]

In an interview in July 2017, the child actors from the first film were asked which actors they would choose to play them in the sequel. Sophia Lillis chose Jessica Chastain and Finn Wolfhard chose Bill Hader, both of whom would end up cast in those roles.

In September 2017, Muschietti and his sister mentioned that 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, reuniting her with Muschietti, who directed her in Mama. By April 2018, 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, Jay Ryan and Andy Bean joined the cast to portray adult versions of Eddie Kaspbrak, Ben Hanscom, and Stanley Uris, respectively. In June 2018, Isaiah Mustafa joined as 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, played by Nicholas Hamilton, and Jess Weixler was also cast, as Bill's wife. This is 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. He played It in its Hobo and Witch forms.

Music[]

On March 29, 2019, it was announced that English composer, conductor, and pianist Benjamin Wallfisch, who had previously composed original scores for films such as Hidden Figures, Blade Runner 2049, and Shazam!, was set to compose the soundtrack for It Chapter Two, marking this as the second time the composer has worked with director Andy Muschietti, after previously composing the soundtrack for the first Ittheatrical film in 2017. The soundtrack features 45 original tracks that were released on August 30, 2019.

According to Wallfisch, the score for It Chapter Two features a larger orchestra and choir than previously and draws on both themes from the first film's soundtrack with "more scale and ambition — to reflect the scope of the film", as well as creates new themes to reflect the characters development over the past 27 years.

Filming[]

Principal photography on the film began on June 19, 2018, at Pinewood Toronto Studios. The sewer system set was constructed at Pinewood, while the actual grate is located in North York. Much of the location work was done in and around Port Hope during summer 2018, as the town stood in for the fictional Maine town of Derry; signs and decor were changed as necessary. The Town Hall exterior was used as the Derry Library. Some exterior shots of the hotel were filmed at the town's Hotel Carlyle.

Some interiors were filmed at a 1902 mansion in Toronto, Cranfield House, while homes in the city, and in Oshawa and Pickering, were used as exteriors. An old mansion set was built for exteriors of the Pennywise home, and later burned, in Oshawa. The synagogue in the film was actually the Congregation Knesseth Israel in Toronto. Derry High School exteriors were filmed at the Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, Ontario. Other locations used by the production included the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, the Scottish Rite in Hamilton, Ontario, Audley Park in Ajax, Ontario, Rouge Park in Scarborough, Toronto (as The Barrens) and The Mandarin Restaurant in Mississauga.

Filming concluded in early November 2018 after 86 days of production.

Post-production[]

The visual effects were provided by Atomic Arts and Method Studios. They were supervised by Brooke Lyndon-Stanford, Justin Cornish, and Josh Simmonds, as well as Nicholas Brooks as the Production Supervisor, with help from Cubica, Lola VFX, Make VFX, Rodeo FX and Soho VFX. The teenage actors were digitally de-aged to match their respective ages during filming of the first film.

Marketing[]

The first concept art of the adult versions of the Losers' Club was released on July 2, 2018, as principal photography began. The first teaser poster of the film was released on October 31, 2018. A first look 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 theatrical trailer were released at the San Diego Comic-Con. The studio spent a total of $95 million promoting the film worldwide.

Release[]

It premiered in Los Angeles on August 26, 2019, and was released in the United States on September 6, 2019, in 2D and IMAX. The film grossed $473.1 million worldwide.

Home media and Digital[]

The film was released in a digital format on November 19, 2019. A release on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K was on December 10, 2019, in the United States.

Reception[]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its acting (particularly that of Skarsgård and Hader), production design, and themes but criticized its long runtime, pacing, tone, and weaker scares compared to those of its predecessor.

Critical Response[]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 62% based on 379 reviews, with an average rating of 6.10/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "It Chapter Two proves bigger doesn't always mean scarier for horror sequels, but a fine cast and faithful approach to the source material keep this follow-up afloat." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 58 out of 100, based on 52 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same as the first film, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 76% and a 56% "definite recommend."

Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper praised the production design and cast, but said the film was not as scary as the first, specifying, "For all of Muschietti's visual flourishes and with the greatly talented Bill Skarsgård again delivering a madcap, disturbingly effective, all-in performance as the dreaded Pennywise, It Chapter Two had a relatively muted impact on me." Variety's Peter DeBruge wrote, "The clown is back, and the kids have grown up in part two of Stephen King's monster novel, which inspires an overlong, but suitably scary sequel," while Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com gave the film two-and-a-half out of four stars, stating that "It Chapter Two can be a sprawling, unwieldy mess—overlong, overstuffed and full of frustrating detours—but its casting is so spot-on, its actors have such great chemistry and its monster effects are so deliriously ghoulish that the film keeps you hooked."

Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave the film a grade of "C+," praising Hader's performance but summarizing, "What a shame, then to build this beautiful stage, populate it with talented actors and high-level craftspeople, and then drop them all through the trap door of plodding humor and scattershot plotting." Aja Romano of Vox called the film "well-made and entertaining," but criticized what she termed the "lack of chemistry" between members of the adult cast, and wrote that the film "muddles [the] message" of the novel on which it is based. Rich Juzwiak of Jezebel gave the film a negative review, calling it "meandering" and "a movie that has no sense of its rules." The film also received criticism over Stan's suicide, as the film showed the suicide as a sacrifice intended to strengthen his friends and remove him as the weak link, whereas in the book he committed suicide purely out of terror. Critics with outlets such as ScreenRant and SyFy felt that it sent out a bad message to the audience, with William Bibbiani of Bloody Disgusting noting that it "potentially conveys a message to the audience that killing yourself could be a rational response to dealing with childhood trauma." Jessica Lachenal of Bustle criticized the film as running the risk of glorifying Stan's suicide as a "noble sacrifice", stating that it sends a dangerous message to those struggling with mental health issues.

Accolades[]

Award Category Nominee Result Ref(s)
Casting Society of America’s The Zeitgeist Award Rich Delia, Stephanie Gorin, Coco Kleppinger Nominated
Hollywood Music In Media Awards Best Original Score - Horror Film Benjamin Wallfisch Nominated
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Best Special Makeup Effects – Feature-Length Motion Picture Sean Sansom, Shane Zander, Iantha Goldberg Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Horror Film Release It Chapter Two Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Bill Hader Won
Best Make-Up Shanw Zander, Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr. Nominated
Best Special Effects Kristy Hollidge, Nicholas Brooks Nominated
World Soundtrack Awards Film Composer of the Year Benjamin Wallfisch (also for The Invisible Man) Nominated

Future[]

In September 2019, Skarsgård spoke of the possibility of a third installment, saying, "It would have to be the right type of approach to it. The book ends where the second movie ends, so that is the final chapter of this story. There is this interesting aspect of going back in time before all this happened. There might be a story there that might be worth exploring. Obviously that would be a story that's not in the book, it would be a freestanding story, but obviously within the same universe. So, there might be something interesting out of it. I think it would be fun.". Two months later, November 2019, Dauberman discussed in an interview of the possibility of a third film, saying, "I do think it's possible. Anything in the Stephen King Universe interests me, but there's only so much of the story we could tell in the two movies. There are definitely elements of the novel you could expand on and make its own movie. It's just a question of whether or not people want to see it. I do think It was on this planet for a very, very, very long time and that's a lot of bloodshed and a lot of stories to tell and I think you could do that for sure."

On March 21, 2022, Variety reported that the Muschiettis and Jason Fuchs are in development of and executive producing a prequel series for HBO Max titled Welcome to Derry that will take place in the 1960s before the events of It: Chapter One and will also include the origin story of Pennywise the Clown. Andy Muschietti will direct the first episode while Fuchs will write all episodes for the series. Stephen King stated that he would not be involved in the development of the series, but was looking forward to seeing it. On June 17, 2022, the writers room was opened. On November 09, 2022, Variety reported that Jason Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane will serve as the co-showrunners for the series with Andy and Barbara Muschietti serving as the main show-runners. Andy Muschietti is being eyed to direct the premiere episode. Pre production began on January 30, 2023. Welcome to Derry will begin filming on April 3, 2023 in Toronto and will take around eight months to officially wrap up on October 13, 2023. The first season of the series will have eight to ten episodes. Welcome to Derry is to release sometime in 2025. On February 23, 2023, Welcome to Derry was officially greenlit at HBO Max. It’ll be released in 2025.

Trivia[]

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