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Stephen King’s original IT novel is so huge that when it finally came time for its cinematic adaptation, it was wisely decided to split the story into two parts. 2017’s IT followed the members of the Losers Club as kids during their first encounter with Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and next month’s IT: Chapter Two will see the protagonists returning to Derry, Maine nearly three decades later to face off against the entity again.
While the now-adult Losers Club members will obviously be front and center in IT: Chapter Two, the kid actors from the first movie will also be reprising their roles through flashbacks. However, director Andy Muschietti has revealed that these kids are also being put through the digital de-aging process. As Muschietti put it:
From the beginning, we knew that that would be part of the budget, the visual effects to address that. So we're going to de-age the kids.
On the one hand, de-aging these actors makes some sense. Although they’re still adolescents, they’ve also grown up quite a bit since shooting IT in 2016; just listen to how Jack Dylan Grazer and Finn Wolfhard’s voices sound back then compared how they are in Shazam! and Stranger Things Season 3, respectively, which were both shot last year.
If these flashbacks are supposed to take place during the events of IT as opposed to afterwards, then if you have the resources to make the actors look and sound as closely as possible as they did back when making the first movie, it’s well within your rights to go down that path. De-aging is certainly a logical approach for maintaining continuity.
On the other hand, you’d think that audiences are smart enough to realize that these kids are meant to be the same age they were during IT and can suspend disbelief. Sure their voices may be a bit deeper and they might be a bit taller, but as long as their performances echo the ones they delivered in the first movie, that should be enough, right?
It’s one thing to de-age an actor by decades a la what Marvel has done with the likes of Michael Douglas, Samuel L. Jackson and more, but now de-aging kids seems like a slippery slope. Of all the ways to allocate IT: Chapter Two visual effects budget, surely that portion of money could have been used on something else, like perfecting the look of one of Pennywise’s alternate disguises.
In any case, as Andy Muschietti told Total Film Magazine, he and his team planned on de-aging the IT kids from the start, so it’ll be interesting to see what the end result looks like. At the very least, these flashbacks will pull back the proverbial curtain more on the traumatic events they went through that fateful summer.
As for the adult cast of IT: Chapter Two, it includes James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon, James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak and Andy Bean as Stan Uris, along with Bill Skarsgård reprising Pennywise.
IT: Chapter Two scares its way into theaters on September 6, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage. Don’t forget to also look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies come out later this year.