'It 2' Is Already In The Works
The filmmakers are 'champing at the bit' for It Chapter 2
The latest adaptation of Stephen King's It hasn't even hit theaters yet, but the filmmakers are already hard at work on It 2, they revealed to GameSpot during a series of group interviews in Los Angeles.
"We are locked and loaded and ready to jump in the minute they say 'go,'" said Producer Seth Grahame-Smith. "The script is not done, but the script is being worked on. Obviously we, all the filmmakers, are just champing at the bit to get started, and we have a very exciting shape, and [It co-writer Gary Dauberman] is working away."
Dauberman joined the project to help adapt a version of the It movie script that was originally penned by writers Chase Palmer and Cary Fukunaga (Fukunaga was also set to direct a previous version of the film, which has been in development for over six years).
Grahame-Smith and Producer David Katzenberg confirmed that the script for It chapter 2 is in progress, but that it hasn't been greenlit yet. "I feel somewhat optimistic that we'll get to make it, but there's been no official decision," Grahame-Smith said.
It Director Andy Muschietti said in an interview in July that he expects to have a finished version of the It 2 script by January, and that pre-production will ideally begin in March.
Both Stephen King's original It book and the famous 1990 made-for-TV mini-series featured two separate time periods, one in which the main characters are children, encountering the monstrous clown Pennywise for the first time, and another in which they're adults, returning to the fictional town of Derry, Main to face the clown once more. The 2017 It movie, however, only features the former storyline, focusing on the kids facing Pennywise in the 1980s. Part 2 will hypothetically pick up the story 27 years later, when the monster wakes up and starts killing again.
The decision to split the story up into two films was entirely practical, the producers said. "There was never a version of this where we could manage to put 1,200 pages into one movie," Katzenberg explained.
"Not to us, anyway," Grahame-Smith said. "When we came on over six years ago there was a draft that attempted to flash back and forth...To us, it was evident that you're never going to be able to service these characters and these moments if you try to cram it all into one movie. And then it's going to be weird, you know? You're flashing back and forth, which means that, well, what happens if the first movie comes out and tanks and you just never finish the story, period? That feels weird. To us, the best way to do it was to separate it out. That was a very early decision."
"To keep the integrity of the book and the story, it made the most sense to split it up," Katzenberg added.
For his part, as the writer, Dauberman was always onboard with the split movie approach. "I never raised the issue of should we boil it all down into a three hour movie because I just didn't think that was going to work," he said. "It wasn't ever even a conversation with me that anyone had."
For the producers, simply adapting such a massively popular--and plain old massive--literary work at all was intimidating. "How do you do that? How do you take this 1,100 plus page tome and adapt it into something that feels seminal and timeless?" Grahame-Smith asked. "That was the big challenge of the six years working on the movie."
The newest adaptation of Stephen King's It hits theaters Sept. 8. Watch out for GameSpot's full review before then.