It sequel

Warner Bros. and New Line must be feeling pretty good about director Andy Muschietti‘s big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Box office tracking predicts a blockbuster. The early buzz has been very positive. The trailers are just plain creepy. Since the movie only adapts one half of King’s massive novel, there’s plenty of room for a sequel. If everything goes right, it’s a no-brainer.

While Muschietti recently signed on to make a live-action version of Robotech, he’s now made it clear that his first priority is the It sequel. And based on some of his comments from our visit to the set last year, he has a good reason to hurry up and make this happen as soon as possible.

While making the press rounds for It (look for our interviews next week), Muschietti spoke with the Italian film outlet Bad Taste (via ScreenRant). When asked if he would make his Robotech movie for Sony before returning to the haunted town of Derry, Maine, the Mama director said that he’s going to finish his evil clown saga before turning to giant robots. Here’s the roughly translated (emphasis on roughly) version of his statement:  “No, It 2 is my priority. I would run Robotech, in case later.” Thanks, bad internet translations!

When asked if the sequel would have a higher budget, he responded with “Well, clearly I hope so!”

For those unfamiliar with the novel, Stephen King’s It takes place over two timelines: a group of kids do battle with an evil shapeshifting creature (often seen in the guise of a clown named Pennywise) and return 30 years later to finish the the job. While the storylines are closely intertwined in the book, jumping back and forth to escalate tension, the new film will focus solely on the story of the young “Losers’ Club,” whose story is now set in 1989 instead of the ’50s. Obviously, the sequel would take place in modern day.

Muschietti has been in demand recently. In addition to Robotech, he was briefly in the running to helm Warner Bros.’ Justice League Dark…although Deadline notes that he stepped away from the project to focus on the It sequel.

Stephen King's It

What We Know About the It Sequel

When I visited the set of It last year, Andy Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti were surprisingly open about the possibilities of a sequel. The former even noted that, while the first film was built to stand alone, he has already started planning for the sequel to have a “dialogue” with the original movie:

Well, it appealed to me because I always thought that the kids’ storyline was more interesting than the adults, but I also appreciate the fact that there is a dialogue between the two timelines. […] But I always insisted that if there is a second part, there would be a dialogue between the two timelines, and that it would be approached like the adult life of the losers, there would be flashbacks that sort of illuminate events that are not told in the first one.

And since that approach would involve additional scenes with the young child actors, it was pretty clear that any sequel would have to come together quickly. “I’m just praying that the kids don’t grow up,” he joked. Fans of the book will be happy to know that the “blood oath” scene has been retained, which will help lay the groundwork for the follow-up. Consider this a minor spoiler for those unfamiliar with the novel or the 1990 miniseries adaptation:

And in the end […] is the scene with the blood oath, where everyone sort of says goodbye. Spoiler. The blood oath scene is there and it’s the last time they see each other as a group. It’s unspoken. And they don’t know it, but it’s a bit of a foreboding that this is the last time, and being together was a bit of a necessity to beat the monster. Now that the monster recedes, they don’t need to be together. And also because their childhood is ending, and their adulthood is starting. And that’s the bittersweet moment of that sequence.

While there is plenty of storyline left in the book to fill out a second movie, both Andy and Barbara Muschietti spoke of the sequel involving flashbacks throughout Derry’s history, revealing the many times “It” has terrorized the community. They even teased that the fire at the Black Spot, a terrifying flashback in the novel, could open the sequel:

The next one is a little warped, in the story. The ones who are going to die in a fire in this adaptation are Mike’s parents. And this tragic event is directly in relation with his fear, which is a traumatic image of his parents dying. And he witnessed this as a baby, and it’s an image that’s in his head and comes back when Pennywise basically incarnates. This image, which is white, abstract, it’s not a monster, it’s just an image. It’s terrifying.

It opens on September 8, 2017. If it makes as much money as everyone expects, we’ll start hearing more about the sequel very soon.

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