It Chapter 2 changes

Even though the It sequel still hasn’t been given the official greenlight, Andy Muschietti‘s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel absolutely crushed the box office during its opening weekend, so it’s only a matter of time until the studio stakes out some ground on the calendar for It: Chapter Two. A writer is already working on the screenplay for the sequel, and now we have some details about a significant change the follow-up will make to one of the members of the Losers’ Club, the group of kids who serve as the protagonists in the first film and will reunite as adults in the second.

The version of Mike Hanlon we’ll see in It: Chapter Two will be very different from the one we just met in this new film, and he’ll even be considerably altered from the character that appeared in King’s original novel.

We’ll have a much more in-depth article on the site tomorrow about everything we know about the upcoming sequel, but for now, let’s concentrate on Entertainment Weekly’s report about how Mike Hanlon, the character played by Chosen Jacobs in Muschietti’s It, will be different moving forward.

The Source Material

In King’s novel, Mike is the only member of the Losers’ Club to stay behind in Derry, Maine while the rest of his friends move away and live their lives. Mike becomes the librarian and unearths the terrifying history of It and Pennywise by interviewing some of Derry’s oldest residents who recount incidents from years earlier. But in Muschietti’s sequel, Mike will be mentally and physically weakened by the time his friends return to the town because of what he knows.

“My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” the filmmaker said. “I want to make his character the one pivotal character who brings them all together, but staying in Derry took a toll with him. I want him to be a junkie actually. A librarian junkie. When the second movie starts, he’s a wreck.”

“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.”

One part of the book that didn’t make it into the movie (among many others) involves the Losers building an underground clubhouse in the Barrens. They participatie in the “Smoke Hole Ceremony,” in which they close themselves into their clubhouse and start a fire inside, with a small hole for it to escape through the ceiling. Inhaling the smoke gives them visions, and the ones who can stand the heat the longest are suddenly transported back to millions of years in Derry’s past and witness the first coming of It as the entity arrived on Earth from somewhere far beyond the reaches of space. Here’s how the kids describe it in the book:

“It came from out of the sky,” Mike repeated, “but it wasn’t a spaceship, exactly. It wasn’t a meteor, either. It was more like…well…like the Ark of the Covenant, in the Bible, that was supposed to have the Spirit of God inside of it…except this wasn’t God. Just feeling It, watching It come, you knew It meant bad, that It was bad.”

He looked at them.

Richie nodded. “It came from…outside. I got that feeling. From outside.”

“Outside where, Richie?” Eddie asked.

“Outside everything,” Richie said. “And when it came down…It made the biggest damn hole you ever saw in your life. It turned this big hill into a doughnut, just about. It landed right where the downtown part of Derry is now.”

Chosen Jacobs 3

How Mike Will Be Different in It: Chapter Two

Instead of including that Smokehouse sequence in the first movie, Muschietti says the adult Mike’s drug trips will achieve the same result:

“It resonates with what the kids do when they go to the smokehouse in the Barrens,” Andy Muschietti says. “By inhaling these fumes from the fire they have visions of It, and the origin of It, and the falling fire in the sky that crashed into Derry millions of years ago. We’ve brought that to Mike, by the end of those 30 years Mike has figured out the Ritual of Chüd.”

That otherworldly ritual is an essential part of the confrontations against It (aka Pennywise), and since we know the second movie will explore the novel’s more “transdimensional” elements, we’ll presumably get to see Mike’s vision and a much weirder confrontation with It during the second film’s climax.

It: Chapter One is in theaters right now.

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