It Chapter 2 turtle

Anyone who read Stephen King’s It probably noticed a couple of small references to a turtle in director Andy Muschietti‘s record-breaking movie adaptation, but the nods were so small that they almost certainly went over the heads of anyone coming into the story fresh. But according to the filmmaker, he’s planning on incorporating the turtle (a major figure in the novel’s bonkers mythology) in a much bigger way into It: Chapter 2. Buckle up: things are about to get interdimensional up in here.

We already know a considerable amount about what to expect from this sequel (read all about it here), including the fact that the Muschietti is aiming to make it far stranger than the relatively simple, child-centric Chapter One. For instance, we know that Mike Hanlon (the character played by Chosen Jacobs in the first movie) is going to become a junkie who uses mind-altering drugs to discover the true history of It (it’s not just a clown named Pennywise, after all), and that the second film will delve into the “transdimensional” aspect of King’s 1986 novel. I don’t want to spoil too much about what exactly that entails, but I will be talking a little about it below, so consider this your last warning if you haven’t read the book and want to go into the sequel completely cold.

There are references to a turtle scattered throughout King’s novel, but it’s not until near the end when we finally discover that, similar to It, the turtle is also an interdimensional being that’s been sort of looking over the Losers and occasionally guiding them through what the kids often feel like is intuition. (It’s a creature that appears elsewhere in King’s work as well, perhaps most prominently in The Dark Tower series.) Muschietti included a shot of a LEGO turtle shattering in his movie, as well as a quick mention of a turtle swimming past someone’s leg in the quarry scene.

Now that you’re all caught up, we can talk about the news. In an interview with SyFy Wire, Muschietti explained his intentions for including that character in the sequel:

“The moment you introduce the element of IT, which is an interdimensional evil entity, the presence of the turtle comes with it, as a counterbalance. It doesn’t seem to play a big role, but the turtle is there. Like all mythologies, there’s a god of good and a god of evil. I didn’t want to use it as a fantastic character, but it’s hinted, every time the kids are in danger or something, I wanted to hint at the presence of the turtle…

In the book, they somehow address the turtle and say ‘the turtle couldn’t help us.’ But I think in the second part, the turtle will try to help them. In the second movie, the turtle left a few clues to their childhood that they don’t remember. They have to retrieve those memories from the summer of 1989, and that’s how we jump back to 1989. The keys to defeating to Pennywise are left in the past, and as adults, they don’t remember.”

That nicely aligns with one of the other big things we’ve been wondering about: how exactly the director planned to incorporate the child cast of the original movie into his sequel, since the films are being split into a film that primarily follows the kids and a follow-up tracking them returning to Derry as adults. Muschietti has been talking about wanting to shoot flashback sequences with the kids before they get too old, so it seems like this help from the turtle in the form of unlocked memories will be a nice way to cut back and forth to more material from the kids that we didn’t see the first time around.

Since the adult plotlines aren’t quite as interesting as the kid stuff in the book, anything that will reunite that stellar group of Losers’ Club actors and give the audience more time with them strikes me as a smart play. To read our choices for who should play the adult versions of the Losers, click here.

It is in theaters right now. What do you think about the It Chapter 2 turtle? Will it be too weird for people who didn’t read the novel?

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