Stephen King's It Trailer

We Will See Some Childhood Flashbacks

When asked about potential flashbacks in the sequel on the set last year, Andy Muschietti noted that they hadn’t filmed any extra scenes and joked “I’m just praying that the kids don’t grow up.” Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, producer Barbara Muschietti confirmed that the kids are definitely coming back for the sequel and will be present for flashbacks. Naturally, she remains concerned about getting the cameras rolling quickly before they all decide to get old:

The hope is we’ll find the best way soon, because it’s also important for Andy to get flashbacks with the kids, who are growing very fast. They are an important component in the next film.

And while the adult losers will presumably be at the center of the story, Andy Muschietti noted that the kids are “a very big part of the action.” Whether this means simple flashbacks to younger days triggered by adult memories or important revelations revealed in the past remains unknown. In either case, there are plenty of childhood scenes from King’s book that could prove necessary in the sequel. After all, it’s a major plot point that adults forget the evil that transpires in Derry, so we may become privy to information the kids learned and then unlearned as they grew up and moved away.

Stephen King's It Clown-Only Screening

We May See More Flashbacks For Derry Itself

In the drafts of It written by Cary Fukunaga and Chase Palmer, we visit various points in Derry’s haunted history, witnessing firsthand the trauma and violence triggered by Pennywise. In Andy Muschietti’s film, these events are mentioned instead of shown: the fire at The Black Spot, a devastating Easter celebration explosion, etc.

On set, Barbara Muschietti noted that the flashbacks got the axe for budgetary reasons. But she did add that they were fond of the sequence set at The Black Spot, a black nightclub burnt down by white supremacists while Pennywise participates in the violence. “We think it’s gonna be a great opening for the next film,” she teased.

Does this mean we’ll be seeing other moments in Derry history brought to horrifying life on screen? Possibly. Early drafts of the script featured scenes in a 19th-century saloon (where Pennywise literally plays the piano to spur on violence) and in colonial New England, where It devours a child after her mother agrees to just walk away so her own life can be spared. While these scenes aren’t in the book, King’s tome is filled with a number of creepy flashbacks from Derry history, exploring how It/Pennywise has been poisoning this community for centuries. If we end up seeing The Black Spot sequence, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more flashbacks pop up throughout the sequel, illuminating the terrors only alluded to in the first movie.

Stephen King's IT Featurette

Things Are Going to Get Weird

And if you’re going to introduce historical flashbacks, why not go with the grandest and most insane flashback in all of Stephen King’s It? In one dizzying sequence, the novel takes us back millions of years, to Its first arrival in our world. This isn’t just an evil clown, after all. This is an ancient being from beyond the cosmos, crash landing on Earth and looking for sustenance. It’s worth noting that early drafts of the script also showed off Its real form (although both takes sound a little disappointing next to the novel, which suggests that the human mind simply cannot comprehend Its true form).

But how, exactly, do you introduce this kind of insane information to the audience? In the book, the young Losers’ Club build a “smoke-hole” and inhale fumes as part of a do-it-yourself ritual to discover more about their foe (it works). In the sequel, Andy Muschietti says they will arrive at a similar conclusion through somewhat different means. Specifically, Mike Hanlon will be a “librarian junkie” and “a wreck” whose time in Derry has taken a toll on him. However, Mike isn’t just a drug addict – he’s a drug addict who has used all kinds of substances to connect to other planes and learn more about It:

He’s not just the collector of knowledge of what Pennywise has been doing in Derry. He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him. The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.

This is very much in line with Andy Muschietti’s previous comments about getting “transdimensional” with the sequel. While the first movie features some unnerving and terrifying scenes, it mostly sidesteps or only alludes to the weirder, wilder, and more psychedelic concepts of the novel:

I really wanted to focus on the emotional journey of the group of kids. Getting in to that other dimension — the other side — was something that we could introduce in the second part. In the book the perspective of the writing… is always with the Losers, so everything they know about Pennywise is very speculative and shrouded in absurdity, so I wanted to respect that mystery feeling of not knowing what’s on the other side.

Remember those bizarre lights we saw in Pennywise’s mouth? Those are about to get really, really important. But that’s only the top of the iceberg. The novel of It goes to some deranged places, slowly shifting away from the small town horror of the first movie and getting downright Lovecraftian in its cosmic, mind-shattering reach. Now that the first movie has audiences in the palm of its hand, the sequel can squeeze everyone’s brains until they burst.

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