Epic! I know. It can be an overused word. I'm guilty of that myself, and I am not exactly Stephen King. And, yes, King almost always gushes about his on-screen adaptations. His reputation as a film critic has taken some hits there. There are some exceptions -- like his infamous distaste for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and his recent hair flip at Under the Dome -- but more often than not he falls into supportive Uncle Stevie mode and champions the projects that carry his name. However, you can often read between the lines when he tries to be diplomatic but it's clear maybe he's not 100% on board with everything, as with The Dark Tower.
IT: Chapter Two follows the 2017 IT, which became the highest-grossing horror film of all time. This second part of the story will also be Rated R, as you can imagine, and it will also be quite long.
According to director Andy Muschietti, the film is 2 hours and 45 minutes long -- that's about a half hour longer than the first movie. But the director told reporters (via Digital Spy) "the pacing is very good" and "Nobody who's seen the movie has had any complaints."
Early box office projections for IT: Chapter 2's opening weekend put it somewhere in the wide range of $110 million to $150 million. The 2017 IT had an opening weekend gross of $123.4 million, and that's off a reported production budget of $35 million, per Box Office Mojo. The R-rated movie went on to make $700 million worldwide, just about evenly split between the domestic and foreign box offices. That's what folks call "a blockbuster hit."
IT: Chapter 2 has a few advantages over Chapter 1. First, it builds off the success of the first film -- who watched that and doesn't want to see how this ends? Plus, the young Losers Club cast is now joined by A-List adult counterparts, including James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Bev, and Bill Hader as Richie.
Bill Skarsgard returns as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and the actor recently said Pennywise is "scarier" and "angrier" in the second film. Skarsgard also warned/promised there would be "a couple of very brutal things" in the sequel.
And apparently the final confrontation will be "epic," per Stephen King's Twitter. Whatever you think of King's cinematic opinion, it means a lot to screenwriter Gary Dauberman. Not only did Dauberman co-write both IT movies, he's also working on an adaptation of King's 'Salem's Lot. He said it's an enormous relief when King signs off on an adaptation of his own work, since he's ... well, the king.
IT: Chapter 2 will be released in theaters on September 6, 2019. Start playing that creepy music in your head now to prepare.