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There were many reasons why a movie based on Stephen King's IT didn't get off the ground before last year, but certainly one among them is the fact that the novel contains a lot of weird stuff. Even beyond the talked-to-death orgy scene, there is the crazy way in which The Losers Club defeats Pennywise, called the Ritual of Chüd, involving all kinds of bizarre metaphysics, and tongue-biting. It's material that's actually kind of hard to fully imagine even when you're reading the book, but according to screenwriter Gary Dauberman, fans will definitely see a cinematic take on it in IT: Chapter Two:
The Ritual of Chüd is challenging, but it's such an important component to the book that we had to address it. That stuff is difficult to balance, but because [director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and I] worked with each other before, when I'm writing pages and all that stuff it becomes more of a conversation and less like, 'Hey, here's what I did.' It's sort of organic; it's really kind of just chipping away at the stone and trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of more metaphysical aspects of that book.
Gary Dauberman didn't exactly go into great detail about the Ritual of Chüd when I spoke to him last week in advance of his new movie, The Nun, but he did confirm that IT: Chapter Two will attempt to realize it. I specifically asked the filmmaker about adapting book elements that we haven't seen before -- such as the Ritual of Chüd, the story of Adrian Mellon, and the giant Paul Bunyon statue that comes to life -- and he explained how he and Andy and Barbara Muschietti have worked together to make them real.
For those who haven't read Stephen King's IT, the Ritual of Chüd is basically a psychic battle of wills, but is translated by the author with some very odd imagery. Specifically, the idea is that Pennywise and a member of the Losers Club each extend their tongues, overlap them, bite down, and then exchange jokes until one party laughs. I personally don't know where you even begin trying to bring that to life, but it's being done.
As noted, it was incredibly helpful that Gary Dauberman and Andy Muschietti worked together on the first IT, as it helped them understand each other's perspectives going into the sequel. Because of their bond, they were able to divide and conquer, so to speak, with the former working to balance important elements from the source material and the latter taking on the challenge of figuring out how it's all going to look. Said Dauberman,
I think that's something that Andy gave a lot of thought about, which was great, because as I was kind of chugging along through the Adrian Melon stuff and sort of more the stuff that's in the book that you kind of just want to see on screen. I'm writing that stuff, and Andy would kind of go off and think about Chüd and how he wants to visually represent all that stuff. He just came up with some brilliant, brilliant stuff... It really is going to be amazing.
Thanks to the fact that the first IT made over $700 million worldwide, there are a lot of expectations for IT: Chapter Two -- but everything we've been hearing just gets us more and more excited. We still have a little less than a year before the sequel will be hitting theaters (scheduled for September 6, 2019), but be on the lookout for more updates here on CinemaBlend!