Created by: Stephen King
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Written by: Gary Dauberman
Produced by: Barbara Muschietti, Dan Lin, Roy Lee
Other cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgård
Release date: September 6, 2019
Premiere date: August 26, 2019
Running time: 169 minutes
Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
Full Plot Summary
In Derry, Maine, a man sees his boyfriend murdered by Pennywise after homophobic youths assault them and throw him off a bridge. Investigating, Mike Hanlon discovers It has returned, and calls his childhood friends, Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, and Stanley Uris, back to Derry to honor the promise they made 27 years ago to kill It if it came back. While the others travel to Derry with hazy memories, Stan commits suicide after being contacted. The Losers meet for dinner and Mike refreshes their memories before they are tormented by hallucinations and learn of Stan’s suicide.
Richie and Eddie decide to leave until Beverly reveals that she has had psychic visions of their deaths should they fail to fulfill their promise. Meanwhile, Henry Bowers, who was arrested for the murder of his father, escapes from a mental institution with help from It, and a little girl is killed by Pennywise at a baseball game. Mike shows Bill, via a drug-induced vision, that the Native American “Ritual of Chüd” can stop It for good.
Going to their old clubhouse and finding Stan’s shower cap, Mike explains that the ritual requires items from their past to be sacrificed and instructs the others to split up and search for their artifacts. Beverly goes to her old home, now inhabited by an elderly woman, and finds Ben’s love letter, still believing Bill wrote it, fleeing when the elderly woman turns out to be It. Ben recalls a childhood encounter with Pennywise at school and realizes his artifact is the yearbook page Beverly signed, which he kept in his wallet. Richie and Eddie retrieve their artifacts: a token from an arcade and an inhaler. Pennywise confronts Richie and taunts him about his sexuality before menacing Eddie, but when Eddie stands up to It, the creature shrinks and flees.
Bill finds his childhood bicycle and recovers the paper boat from the storm drain where Georgie was killed. He meets a boy named Dean, who says he hears voices from the drain. Later, Bill receives a message from It who is going after Dean. Bill runs off to save Dean, only to watch helplessly as Pennywise kills the boy. Henry attempts to murder Eddie at the Losers’ hotel, and then Mike at the library, but Richie kills him. The Losers rejoin Bill at the Neibolt House, talking him out of facing It alone.
After saving Beverly from It, the group descends into a cavern beneath the sewers and perform the ritual in the remains of the meteor that brought It to Earth. The ritual traps the Deadlights in a sealing jar, but It emerges from the jar as a giant red balloon, which bursts, revealing It in two combined forms, Pennywise and a spider. Pennywise pressures Mike into revealing that It killed the Natives originally performing the ritual, a fact Mike had hidden. Mike states that the Native Americans didn’t succeed because they did not believe, but the losers accuse Mike of lying to them. It attacks the Losers and places Bill, Ben, and Beverly in nightmarish hallucinations, which they escape once Bill lets go of his guilt over Georgie’s death, and Beverly realizes Ben wrote the love letter. Mike stands up to Pennywise, only to almost get eaten, but Richie manages to distract It, getting caught in It’s Deadlights. Eddie saves him, but is fatally impaled. He explains how he made It feel small earlier. The Losers mock Pennywise, showing that they are not scared anymore and calling Pennywise various names to make it weaker and small, causing Pennywise to shrink. Mike rips out It’s heart; he and the Losers crush it, finally killing It. Eddie dies from his injuries, and the Losers are forced to leave him when It’s cavern implodes, destroying the Neibolt House.
The remaining Losers return to their old swimming area and wash off from their confrontation with It, and join hands to comfort Richie as he mourns for Eddie. After the Losers part ways, Ben and Beverly get married, Richie returns to the kissing bridge where he had once carved his and Eddie’s initials, Mike decides to move out of Derry and start a new life, and Bill begins writing his new story before receiving a call from Mike as he leaves Derry, learning that Stan sent them all posthumous letters. The letters reveal Stan was too scared to face It, and his suicide was a sacrifice to give his friends a chance against It. He asks the remaining Losers to “live life to the fullest potential.”
On February 16, 2016 – over a year before the release of the film’s predecessor – producer Roy Lee mentioned a second It film in an interview with Collider, commenting that a draft had been written envisioning the adaptation as two films. Later, on July 19, 2017, Andy Muschietti revealed that production for a second film was set to begin in the spring of 2018, with a script being finished by January 2018.
On July 21, 2017, Andy Muschietti stated that two cut scenes from the first film will possibly be included in the second. On September 25, 2017, after the success of the first film’s release, New Line Cinema officially announced that the sequel would be released on September 6, 2019, with Gary Dauberman writing the script and Andy Muschietti returning to direct. After Gary Dauberman had to leave the project to write and direct Annabelle Comes Home, Jason Fuchs was brought in as his replacement.
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 – whom the Muschiettis had also envisioned playing adult Beverly – and Finn Wolfhard chose Bill Hader. In September 2017, the Muschiettis mentioned that Chastain would be their top choice to play the adult version of Beverly Marsh, while Jessica Chastain expressed interest herself in November 2017. Jessica Chastain was later officially confirmed for the project in February 2018. By April 2018, Hader and James McAvoy were in talks to join the cast to play adult versions of Richie Tozier and Bill Denbrough, and 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.
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 and Jess Weixler was also cast as Bill’s wife. In September 2018, it was revealed that Javier Botet would appear in the film as different forms of It once more.
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 the summer of 2018, as the town stood in for the fictional Derry, Maine; signs and decor were changed as necessary. The Port Hope Town Hall exterior was used as the Derry Library, while some exterior shots of the hotel were filmed at the town’s Hotel Carlyle.
Some interiors were filmed at Cranfield House, a mansion in Toronto that was built in 1902. Homes in Toronto, Oshawa and Pickering were used as exteriors, while a mansion for the exterior of Pennywise’s mansion was once again built on a set in Oshawa. The synagogue in the film was the Congregation Knesseth Israel in Toronto, and Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, Ontario stood in as Derry High School’s exteriors.
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. After 86 days, filming concluded in early November.
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. Additional help was provided by Cubica, Lola VFX, Make VFX, Rodeo FX and Soho VFX. For newly filmed scenes, the teenage actors were digitally de-aged to match their respective ages during filming of the first film.
It Chapter Two had its world premiere at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, California on August 26, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 6, 2019 by Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio spent a total of $95 million promoting the film worldwide.
In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $90–100 million from 4,570 theaters in its opening weekend, and the film broke Fandango’s record for most advance tickets sold by a horror film in the week leading up to its release. The film made $37.4 million in its first day, including $10.5 million from Thursday night previews, which would be the second-highest total for both a September opening and a horror film behind the first film’s $13.5 million. It went on to debut to $91 million (once again, becoming the second-best ever for a horror film and a September release behind its predecessor).
The lower debut was attributed to a more mixed reception from both critics and audience members, as well as the nearly three-hour runtime which limited screenings. It made $40.7 million in its second weekend, retaining the top spot, before making $17.2 million in its third weekend and being dethroned by newcomer Downton Abbey. The film ultimate grossed $211.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $261.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $473.1 million. After factoring in all expenses and revenues, Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $169 million.
The film currently has a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, a stark contrast to the 86% earned by the first film. Though praise was lauded on the effects and performances from the cast, the film earned its share of criticism for its length and what considered a lacklustre ending.
. . .