IT Chapter Two Director Defends Movie's Nearly 3-Hour Runtime

Pennywise in It Chapter Two

A film with a three-hour runtime runs the risk of feeling more like a chore than like escapism. Notable exceptions include The Lord of the Rings (all of them), The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and Avengers: Endgame. Judging by his recent comments, It: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti thinks that sometimes, three-hour movies aren't just welcome. They're necessary.

Andy Muschietti revealed to Digital Spy that the concluding chapter in the It franchise clocks in at a frightening 2 hours and 45 minutes. That's a tad long for almost any film, but Muschietti stands by the decision to cut fewer scenes and instead write a tighter script. If the film's trailers and its stellar predecessor are anything to go by, it sounds like the film will knock us all dead.

The first film focused on the Losers Club as kids. The second film, however, features a mostly new cast which includes James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader, all of whom star as the grown-up Losers. Bill Skarsgard returns as the terrifying, child-mauling Pennywise the Clown, who survived his encounter with the Losers at the end of the first film. Now he's back. And he's incredibly vengeful.

Here's what Andy Muschietti had to say about the new film's runtime:

A movie is very different when you're writing the script and you're building a story compared to what the final product is. At the beginning, when you're writing and building the beats of the story, everything that you put in there seems very essential to the story. However, when you have the movie finally edited and it's 4 hours long, you realise that some of the events and some of the beats can be easily lifted but the essence of the story remains intact. You cannot deliver a 4-hour movie because people will start to feel uncomfortable – no matter what they see – but we ended up having a movie that is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the pacing is very good. Nobody who's seen the movie has had any complaint.

Sounds like he's pretty confident, especially after getting some extremely positive feedback from Stephen King and from the film's composer. And why wouldn't he be? The first film was ridiculously good, and the new footage we've seen so far is amazing. So yeah, we'll trust you on this one, Andy. Original cuts of any movie are usually much longer than the version we get in theaters, and being able to cut two hours' worth of footage and still have a well-made, well-paced story to show for it is super impressive.

It: Chapter Two hits theaters on September 6, 2019. Let us know in the comments if you plan on seeing it!