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Spoilers ahead for IT Chapter Two.
The horror genre has been through an exciting renaissance over the past few years, with plenty of new and exciting projects hitting theaters and raking up dough at the box office. But the genre has always been one that relied heavily franchises and sequels, and a fair amount of reboots have accompanied new original stories. Stephen King's IT was recently given the movie treatment, with a pair of horror flicks by Andy Muschietti. The sequel delivered an emotional ending for Bill Hader's Richie Tozier, but was there an alternate (and sadder) ending for the fan favorite character?
Richie was the scene stealer in IT Chapter Two, as Bill Hader had an endless supply of one liners for the members of the Losers' Club. Andy Muschietti made a narrative choice by deepening the bond between Richie and James Ransone's Eddie. It turns out that Richie's feelings for his friend were romantic, and ultimately left unexplored in the wake of Eddie's death. But Ransone recently shared a photo from the set of Chapter Two, which is going to start endless fan theories about an alternate ending. Check it out.
Um, what? Is there a version of IT Chapter Two that ends with Richie's death? My head is spinning, and fans of both the franchise and Stephen King's beloved novel are likely doing the same.
This image comes to us from James Ransone's personal Instagram page. The image shows what appears to be a prop table on the set of IT Chapter Two. Included is a photo of Bill Hader's character, which says "In Loving Memory of Richard Tozier". As such, fans are wondering if an alternate ending for the movie saw Richie dying at the hands of Pennywise, rather than Eddie. But would the ending have been as powerful?
Eddie sacrifices himself during the final battle with Pennywise, but being killed by the demon after saving Richie. Bill Hader's character was shown weeping and mourning for his fellow Loser, with the movie later revealing that his feelings were actually romantic in nature. Eddie's death gives Richie the final motivation to destroy Pennywise, with the remaining Losers' bullying the monster until he was small enough to kill.
The strength Richie has to stand up to Bill Skarsgard's villain comes with the realization and memories of his time with Eddie. The movie ends with the comedian seemingly coming to terms with his sexuality, re-carving his and Eddie's initials before leaving Derry. But could the above photo indicate an alternate, sadder ending for the character?
It's unclear, as James Ransone didn't offer any type of context with the photo. It's more than possible that it was an inside joke on the set, and was not actually a prop for the horror sequel. But with Andy Muschietti willing to make some changes to Stephen King's original story, it seems just about anything is possible.
Killing Richie off would have presumably given Eddie the chance to survive, and possibly come to the same realization that Bill Hader's character did during IT Chapter Two's conclusion. The hypochondriac Loser was shown having the same problems he did as a kid during adulthood. While no longer under the thumb of his abusive mother, Eddie's relationship with his wife had a similar power dynamic. Unfortunately, he ultimately died before being able to make a real change.
We'll just have to wait and see if Andy Muschietti ends up commenting on this photo, and whether or not IT Chapter Two had an alternate ending for Richie. Perhaps the answers will arrive with the supercut of both movies, which the director has shown an interest in.