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Pennywise the Clown in IT: Chapter Two

If you've read anything about IT: Chapter Two, you'll know that the second of Andy Muschietti's two adaptations is mostly faithful to the Stephen King-authored source material. If you've read seen/read/heard fans' (and critics') reactions to the film, you'll probably see a common thread. “Good, but not great.” But regardless of your feelings toward the film, you have to admit there is much to discuss.

One of the aspects of the film that will undoubtedly inspire endless debate is its ending and how it differs from King's original ending. The differences themselves won't be debated as they're pretty obvious (and executed well), but the creative decisions behind what transpires in the film will almost certainly elicit strong responses from fans of the novel.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, IT: Chapter Two screenwriter Gary Dauberman explained that the biggest change he made to King's story was the ending.

Here's what he said:

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It's probably the biggest departure we take from the novel. I knew we had to include the Ritual of Chüd, I knew there had to be steps to this process. But I didn't know how what was in the book would have played on screen — going into another realm, things like that. It was certainly discussed, but it became about what is going to be the most cinematic way to tell this without the audience kind of scratching their heads.

He's absolutely correct. Stephen King put so much thought and care into his ending that trying to stuff an already bloated film with explanations and exposition wouldn't benefit the adaptation at all. So yeah, simplifying and shortening it was absolutely essential.

Stephen King's ending is wonderful, but he also takes his time explaining the metaphysics behind all of it. We didn't have that time. So, we had to distill it down to the key ingredients. I wanted to be faithful to the spirit of what King was going for, and I think we managed that. That is how I found my peace with taking a departure from it.

Those who have seen the film and read the book know that the ending is definitive. IT: Chapter Two won't have spin-offs or other supplemental stories, so you can lay those hopes to rest. It has been a (mostly) fun ride, but it's time to send the red balloons away and leave Derry for good. The creative liberties Dauberman took while writing the script are backed by solid reasoning, so even if you hated the ending, remember that the guy did his best to make it enjoyable.

What did you think of IT: Chapter Two? Did you like the ending or could Muschietti, Dauberman, and crew have done a better job? Let us know in the comments below and make sure you acquaint yourself with the many films still waiting to hit theaters in 2019.

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