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Warning: SPOILERS for IT Chapter Two are in play. If you’re looking to avoid spoilers for the film, head out of this story and come back once you are current with the story.
As we continue to see IT Chapter Two make its play for box office glory, a second weekend on top of the food chain has us still reflecting on how the entire story plays as a whole. Director Andy Muschietti’s two film-adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel, with writer Gary Dauberman along for the ride on both halves, definitely feels fuller than the 1990 miniseries ever did.
However, much like the original Tommy Lee Wallace-helmed TV version, there was still a bit of a battle over what was included, and what would be cut, from the story that makes up IT in its totality. Ultimately, with two films and roughly 5-6 hours of time to tell the story of an over 1000-page doorstop, sacrifices must be made.
But what if they didn’t have to be? What if IT was a trilogy of films and allowed to tell the full story of the novel for the first time? It would have been the better way to go, to be honest, and it could have worked rather well. While we can’t turn back time to change what’s happened in terms of how these films were made, allow us to explain just why IT would have worked better with a third chapter to round things off.
Why IT Should Have Been A Trilogy
Stretching back to when we discussed the problems that IT Chapter Two had with telling its story, the idea of IT being a trilogy has simmered in our minds since mentioning the possibility. And the reasoning to have three movies telling the IT story is based in the same roots the idea to make IT into a theatrical film in the first place: it gives Stephen King’s book more room to breathe.
Jumping from a television miniseries to a major motion picture event was a move designed to allow IT not only to be more intense, but to also work more of the tale into the entire package that would be delivered to audiences. Which makes it all the more surprising that those in charge wouldn’t have thrown off the shackles of the duology structure and gone for the brass ring.
IT works perfectly as a trilogy because not only would there have been more room for The Losers’ Club to be fleshed out to perfection, but the pacing issues of IT Chapter Two could have been avoided. With three films, there’s a perfect thematic and symbolic structure that could have been followed in this tale of childhood trauma. It’s a trilogy that would play out in the following hypothetical manner.
IT Chapter One
Probably the best news about a trilogy structure is that it vindicates the decision made to keep IT solely focused on the Losers Club’s younger years. With that film already keeping the action set in 1988-1989, the foundation for Stephen King’s coming-of-age story starts with its best feet forward.
We got to know the Losers' personalities rather effectively, saw them come together, and eventually even saw them all take on Pennywise the first time, swearing to get back together if IT ever came back. Everything that was great about IT would have carried over into IT Chapter One, with just some mild changes.
The greatest change to IT Chapter One would be to include all of the “new” flashbacks that IT Chapter Two debuted in its story structure. Richie’s homosexuality, Henry Bowers’ arrest and the underground lair all should have been in play from the beginning, if only because the structure of IT Chapter Two needed them to already exist in order to land their thematic punches.
IT Chapter Two
This is where the real surgery starts, as IT Chapter Two would still play as a mix of flashbacks and present day action, but in a very different manner. Instead of cramming the return of the now fully grown Losers’ Club in with their final battle against Pennywise, this middle film would be all about crossing that bridge from childhood into adulthood.
As such, the new and improved IT Chapter Two could have lingered a little longer on everyone’s life situations as adults, with more of their lives after Derry coming into focus. James McAvoy’s Bill Denbrough would have benefited from this approach massively, as his wife Audra (Jess Weixler) could be restored to the level of importance she played in the Stephen King variant of the novel.
In turn, that would have also opened the door for Tom Rogan (Will Beinbrink) to also fulfill his plotline from the novel. This would have seen the cliffhanger of IT Chapter Two’s new and improve formula involving Tom’s abduction of Audra in order to lure The Losers’ Club into Pennywise’s den.
With the entire film playing on the theme of overcoming childhood fears, and coming to terms with those earlier years, flashbacks would still play a part in reminding the prodigal children of Derry what had happened and why they needed to come back home. IT’s first two chapters would then wrap up, leading to one final chapter of action to end the story in style.
IT The Final Chapter
With Stephen King’s characters and plots now firmly established and perfectly teed up, audiences would be ready to see the entire novel come together with IT The Final Chapter. This third film would have mostly focused on taking down Pennywise through the Ritual of Chüd, with some extra time built in for audiences to see more fleshed-out nightmare sequences.
Of course, the last film wouldn’t have to be as long as the first two, as IT The Final Chapter is supposed to be the action packed finale that delivers a pleasing, but adrenaline-fueled conclusion. The rest of the film would be used to tie up the loose ends of The Losers’ Club, allowing them to say their goodbyes and move into their new lives as well-adjusted adults.
The cherry on top would be seeing each member moving forward with their lives, now being able to remember what happened in Derry through the 27 years their story spanned across. That knowledge would spur them all on to move in different, exciting directions, much as we saw with Mike leaving Derry for the first time ever. The big difference being that now we get to see how everyone moves on, and in a slightly more extended context.
How Can The Supercut Fix IT’s Story
While a trilogy is off the table, there’s an option that might make all of the difference when it comes to re-editing IT: the fabled supercut that looks like it’s going to happen after all. As director Andy Muschietti has talked about an entire supercut putting both halves of the story together, the material he’s looking to include in this massive undertaking could serve a similar purpose.
Should the supercut operate as one large, six-hour film, IT can rearrange the flashbacks from IT Chapter Two to become scenes in the IT portion of the film. Then, moving into the second act of the film, those moments can remain as flashbacks in adulthood, if only slightly abbreviated as that knowledge will already be a part of the earlier portion of the film.
Completing the story of the IT supercut would be the final section of the film, where the battle would be won and everything wraps up in an emotionally satisfying way. With some restructuring of the overall story, as well as some of that new material Muschietti is looking to film for the finished product, IT and IT Chapter Two might make up for not having a third entry by following the structure of a trilogy in their combined form.
It’s going to probably be a while before the two halves of IT and IT Chapter Two are made into one cohesive whole. Even in that event, there’s a chance that this adaptation of the story Stephen King [committed to paper in 1986](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_(novel) might still feel a little lacking. Should that be the case, maybe it might be a good idea to film even more additional material, and re-edit the entire series into a three-film opus after all.
IT Chapter Two is in theaters now, with IT available on Digital HD, 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD formats.