One of the biggest hits of last year, IT completely owned the box office when it hit theaters. It also helped that the movie was rad as hell, appeasing not only horror and movie fans but also lovers of Stephen King's classic novel. However, like many book adaptations, IT had to change or ignore certain aspects of the book. That's common territory for any book adaptation, but IT differed enough in some key areas that it was noticeable for book fans, such as a less emphasis on the supernatural and a smaller role for bigger characters like Mike. IT Chapter Two has begun filming, but there are already some clues that indicate this could be more faithful to the source material than its predecessor.
Now, just because IT wasn't a word-for-word reenactment of the book doesn't mean that it's a bad movie. Sometimes that's what has to be done in order to make the movie work, especially when going off a something as difficult to translate as IT. And there is stuff in IT that definitely should never be put in front of a camera (book readers know exactly what I'm talking about), but IT Chapter Two might not be pulling its punches this time around. Here are four clues that the sequel is sticking close to the book this time.
Henry Bowers Is Back
In the first movie, the Losers' Club is plagued by a trio of bullies, led by a devil of a kid named Henry Bowers. It doesn't take long for Bowers to prove just how deranged he really is, carving his initials into poor Ben Hanscom in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Bowers seems to have it out for Mike Hanlon especially, and tries to physically harm him at least three times in the movie. Eventually, Bowers is seduced by Pennywise and sent to kill the Losers' Club, but Mike ends up pushing Bowers down a seemingly bottomless pit into Pennywise's lair. This differs a lot from the books, wherein Bowers and his gang chase the Losers through the sewers, only for Pennywise to kill Bowers' gang. Bowers is then blamed for basically all the murders that happened over the summer and is sent to an insane asylum. Bowers' movie fate left it up to debate whether he'd be back at all, but Teach Grant has been cast as adult Henry in the sequel. Does this mean that he did end up in an asylum after all or will Bowers get involved in some new way?
They Might Do One Of The Books Most Gruesome Scenes
Despite the fact that it was an R-rated horror movie, IT largely didn't over indulge on the gore -- at least compared to the novel, which features some truly upsetting death scenes. One of those scenes involves a young man named Adrian Mellon, whose death at the hands of Pennywise serves as the catalyst for the present day storyline with the adult Losers' Club. I won't get too much into detail for spoiler reasons, but it's a very brutal sequence that highlights the fierce cruelty of the citizens of Derry and the hate that Pennywise has fostered. The scene is pretty dicey and likely would need some tweaking for a 2018 audience and that just might be what we are getting. Xavier Dolan has been cast as Adrian, meaning the character has some kind of role to play in events. It's possible that the role will be heavily altered, but the fact that he's in the movie at all could be a telling sign.
Mike Will Have A Bigger Role
Mike Hanlon is one of the biggest characters in the novel. Not only is he the one who figures out most of the backstory about Pennywise and his effect on Derry, but he's also the one who gets the gang back together to defeat the evil shapeshifter once and for all. Couple that with the backstory of his own family, and you have one of the most fascinating characters in the novel. In this regard, the movie really gave him the shaft. Mike was flattened down a bit and a lot of his stuff was given to Ben instead. The movie had its reasons, but signs are pointing that adult Mike will get his time to shine in the sequel. Director Andy Muschietti has said that he plans to give Mike a bigger role in the sequel, but it won't be without some changes. He wants to go darker and make Mike a "librarian junkie," the years of his time in Derry taking a serious toll.
There Will Be More Supernatural Elements
In the novel, that's a big focus on some real heavy cosmic-level elements surrounding Pennywise, his origin, and his universal counterpoint, the Turtle. The book is as much a fantasy as it is a horror, but Andy Muschietti opted to keep the first movie strictly horror. The director decided to leave out the otherworldly aspects and just focus on the kids trying to beat a demon clown. That worked in the first movie's favor, but the second has a bit more muscle and freedom to explore the supernatural if it wants. Muschietti has hinted that the Turtle will be a more active presence, though, it will still be largely in the background. The Ritual of Chüd, which inspires one of the trippiest parts of the book, is also going to play a key part in how they beat Pennywise. the director has also indicated that spirit visions aren't off the table, so get ready for a balls-off-the-wall sequel, people.