it chapter 3

Unlike The Hobbit or the final Hunger Games book, Stephen King’s 1986 novel It was actually long enough that splitting it into two movies was totally warranted. But according to director Andy Muschietti, King’s book hints at a backstory for Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgärd) which could potentially be mined for a third film, should the opportunity arise. Read what he had to say about a possible It Chapter 3 below.

The upcoming It: Chapter Two picks up the story of the Losers’ Club 27 years after they thought they defeated Pennywise, aka It, a shape-shifting creature who thrives on fear and eats unsuspecting children. After laying dormant for nearly thirty years, Pennywise surfaces again and the Losers must return to Derry as adults to try to finish him off for good. The sequel is a creepy, powerful conclusion to the Losers’ story, and it doesn’t leave any room for a third movie – at least not one that involves those protagonists.

But in a recent interview with io9, Muschietti implies that there’s enough Pennywise-centric material to fill out a possible third film. (Heads up: there are very light spoilers for It: Chapter Two ahead.)

“There is a whole mythology to the book though…Mythology is something that always has opportunities to explore. It [aka Pennywise] has been on Earth for millions of years. He’s been in contact with humans for hundreds of years, every 27 years. So you can imagine the amount of material. It’s always exciting to think of eventually exploring this mythology. It’s very exciting. But, for now, there’s nothing on the table.”

Muschietti’s first It became a bonafide smash hit, making far more money than anyone predicted when it debuted back in 2017. If the sequel performs equally well, it’s easy to imagine Warner Bros. looking at those dollar signs and thinking about ways to continue this franchise, even though they’ve already completed the main story from the book.

But creatively, the question of whether or not they could butts up against whether or not they should. Sure, the studio could hire a writer to concoct a prequel in which Pennywise frightens and eats another group of children hundreds or even thousands of years before the Losers’ Club enters the picture, and maybe they could convince Skarsgärd to come back and play the character again. But aside from the naked cash grab aspect, is there really a good reason for a third movie? This theoretical version of It Chapter 3 would already have a lot working against it: audiences would already know what ultimately happens to Pennywise, and the first two movies have already done such a good job of exploring the psychological effects of trauma across generations. Unless they find a new, totally fresh angle, Pennywise risks wearing out his welcome. We’ll keep you posted if a third film actually does materialize.

It: Chapter Two arrives in theaters on September 6, 2019.

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