If I’m being honest, while there are many films still to come this year that I’m looking forward to, my anticipation for those titles pales in comparison to just how insanely hyped I am for Andy Muschietti’s IT Chapter Two, which is due in theaters everywhere on September 6th. New Line Cinema broke records with the first film, and from what was shown during last night’s ScareDiego panel at SDCC, this sequel is going to be printing money hand over foot this fall, guaranteed.
And just a side note: if there is any justice in this world, here’s hoping the Academy Awards show some well-deserved love to Bill Skarsgård next year for his portrayal of Pennywise, which is on a completely different level this time around (which is hard to imagine, considering how brilliant he was in the first IT film). But I digress.
ScareDiego 2019 kicked off with host Conan O’Brien coming out to introduce the brand new trailer (which hit the internet earlier today), and afterwards, O’Brien declared, “I have no skin in this game, but that was a great f—cking trailer,” which is a sentiment this writer wholeheartedly agrees with. Conan then brought out Muschietti as well as the adult actors who are taking on the roles of The Losers' Club, including Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh), James McAvoy (Bill Denbrough), Bill Hader (Richie Tozier), Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanlon), and Andy Bean (Stanley Uris).
While chatting at the event, O’Brien asked the cast and Muschietti about their experiences working on the sequel, and they chatted about everything from getting to meet Stephen King on set (Hader confirmed that the legendary writer does often speak like he writes), receiving letters from their younger cast member counterparts (which helped them connect to their own respective roles now), and how Muschietti may have set a new record for the most blood utilized in a modern horror movie with one of IT Chapter Two’s set pieces, which featured more than 4,500 gallons of blood (Chastain wanted to make “Carrie on steroids,” and from the quick glimpse in the trailer, it seems like she got her wish).
In a humorous moment, Bean discussed meeting Wyatt Oleff, who plays the younger version of Stanley, and he was surprised when the teen admitted to him that he had hoped that Joseph Gordon-Levitt would play him as an adult. Hader also discussed how Finn Wolfhard gave him a framed picture of himself as Richie from the first movie, but Bill was hesitant to put the picture of the Stranger Things star out in his hotel room, because it felt a bit weird to have a framed photo of a young boy on his mantle for “reasons.”
Everyone also chimed in with their own experiences with King’s novels over the years (the first book Hader ever read was ’Salem’s Lot when he was a youngster, and he even name-checked Danny Glick, which I audibly squealed at, because I’m a total nerd), and Ransone talked about how the 1990 IT miniseries left a huge impact on him as a kid, and it was still surreal to him that here he is now, decades later, part of an IT adaptation.
“After I saw the miniseries, I immediately went and read IT,” said Ransone. “That book had such an effect on me that I Xeroxed the front cover of the book and colored it in, and then taped it up next to my brother’s bed just to mess with him.”
They also chatted about which films they would and wouldn’t like to see remade in the future, with Ransone making a quip over how no one should touch The Shining again, and Chastain adding that Rosemary’s Baby should remain untouched as well (which it technically has already happened with the TV miniseries iteration from a few years ago, but no one tell Jessica). Muschietti admitted he would like to remake The Howling one day, and Mustafa declared that he never wants Hollywood to take another swing at Big Trouble in Little China, but it seems like that’s going to happen anyway.
Also, Chastain showed her appreciation for just how much the horror genre has done right by female characters over the years. “I love doing horror, because these films really honor women. It’s women who beat the monster at the end, and usually, it’s all the men that end up dying.” She also showed her appreciation for Muschietti, who she previously worked with on Mama, and said that anything he’d want her to be a part of, she’d do it in a heartbeat.
But speaking of John Carpenter, the Master of Horror was feted several times at ScareDiego 2019, with Ransone mentioning him as one of his favorite directors. Plus, there’s a sequence in one of the extended scenes we saw last night that was a direct homage to Carpenter’s The Thing, and I have to say it was completely badass and pure 100 percent nightmare fuel.
In terms of the footage shown, O’Brien asked us to not divulge too much about what we were shown last night, but I can confirm that we did see three separate extended scenes that were partially featured in the newly released IT Chapter Two trailer: there was The Losers' Club reuniting at the Jade of the Orient restaurant for a night of reminiscing over food and drinks, the gang all returning to the Neibolt House, and then a new scene featuring McAvoy running around a hall of mirrors trying to keep Pennywise from attacking another kid, which Muschietti crafted as a huge emotional moment for McAvoy’s character, Bill, to contend with his own lingering guilt and grief over not being able to keep Georgie safe some 27 years prior.
For this writer, September 6th cannot get here fast enough, as I am now more primed than ever to return to Derry this fall for IT Chapter Two.
Stay tuned to Daily Dead for more updates on IT Chapter Two, and visit our online hub to catch up on all of our Comic-Con coverage!
Photos by Heather Wixson / Daily Dead: