It Chapter One remains one of the most popular horror films in recent memory, and is currently the highest-grossing horror film of all time. The blend of nostalgia, top tier acting, tone balancing humor, and frightening set pieces secured It Chapter One as a full-fledged phenomenon.
Much of the success of this adaption is due to director Any Muschietti's balancing act when it came to handling the original. Stephen King's novel is certainly beloved, but nearly impossible to adapt 100% faithfully. Luckily, Muschietti included all the essential moments and captured the essence of King's novel. With It Chapter Two less than a month away, here's everything we hope it includes from the book, and some things we hope it omits.
10 Include - Adrian Mellon's Murder
So much of the original It novel focused on the bigotry and hate that runs rampant throughout so much of rural America and the complacency of those who live in it. Few moments embodied this theme more than the murder of Adrian Melon. Adrian, a gay man who is thrown off a bridge by a hateful gang, is devoured by Pennywise.
It Chapter One tended to shy away from this thematic framework. There were hints at it for sure, but much of it was toned down when compared to the book. This scene is so heartbreakingly terrifying and shows that even today evil exists when we allow it to. It must be included.
9 Leave Out - The Classic Monsters
One of the best changes Muschietti made to his version of It was shifting its time. The original novel took place both in the 50s and 80s. Muschietti took full advantage of 80s nostalgia and moved the children's experience up, leaving Chapter 2 to be set during the present day.
This being the case, the original fears of Universal Monsters such as The Mummy and The Wolfman didn't hold as much sway. Muschietti should follow suit once again and not have Pennywise take the form of any such monster. In the book, adult Ben is confronted by Pennywise who takes the form of Dracula. Muschietti should feel free to subvert this and create a new frightening foe.
8 Include - The Chinese Restaurant Sequence
What a fun and freaky sequence this is. In the novel, the Losers' Club reunites in a Chinese food restaurant in Derry. Here the gang eats dinner, reminisces about old times, and plans their final confrontation with Pennywise. It is a crucial moment from the original novel that must be in this adaption.
It's not only a heartwarming reunion between friends, but also the perfect set-piece of one of the book's best scares. When the gang opens up their fortune cookies, a plethora of horrors is released. It was done decently in the TV movie version, but one can only imagine how Muschietti would adapt this moment.
7 Leave Out - Too Many Flashbacks
One thing that fans already know is that the younger cast will be returning for flashbacks. This is a solid choice, as the original book often switches back and forth between the past and present. Not only that, but the original cast is already so beloved that seeing them again will make many fans happy.
But, Muschietti should be careful not to overuse this young cast. While they are already iconic horror characters, audiences need to identify their older selves as the protagonists of this story. Saturating the film with flashbacks will only alienate viewers when watching the older versions on screen.
6 Include - The Loser's Club Solo Outings
In the novel, the adult Losers need to take their own solo outings throughout Derry to remember their pasts. Once someone leaves Derry, their memory of their time there is severed until they return. During these moments, the Losers' Club each have their own encounters with Pennywise.
From the trailer, we have already seen Beverly returning on her own to her old apartment. Each member of the team should have their own solo moment between themselves and Pennywise. It adds personal stakes to each character and allows Pennywise much more screen time.
5 Leave Out - The Orgy
It's fair to say that one of the strangest choices Stephen King made in the original was having the young Losers' Club bond a bit too closely. If you are unaware, to keep their memories strong enough to escape the sewers, the Losers' Club got a bit too personal. It's a bizarre choice that most fans find a touch problematic.
Omitting this moment from Chapter One was a wise move. Hopefully, Muschietti removed it entirely from his version and wasn't just saving it for when they became adults. It's an uncomfortable and frankly unneeded moment between the Losers' Club.
4 Include - More of Mike
If one character got the shaft in Muschietti's Chapter One, it was Mike Hanlon. Mike is a fascinating character to follow in the original book. Far more separated from the Club both as a child and an adult, his journey is far more personal. Sadly, so much of him was cut from the first film that his character felt forgotten and lacking in depth.
Mike is essential to the latter half of the novel, so it only makes sense that Muschietti should increase his role in Chapter Two. Mike is the one who brings the entire gang back together after all these years and is the one person who has kept the memory alive.
3 Leave Out - Giant Spider Pennywise
Pennywise is far more than his clown persona would lead one to believe. This interdimensional being can take the form of anything he chooses. But, apparently, his real form is that of a giant crab-like spider thing? At the end of the novel, the Losers' Club witness this first hand, as well as the eggs that It has laid below Derry.
Perhaps Muschietti's version can somehow dodge the innate dorkyness of this persona of Pennywise. The original miniseries decided to include it and it was one of the worst aspects. Granted, visual effects have come a long way since, but a clown is still going to be scarier than a giant Spider any day.
2 Include - Some Hints at the Mythology
It Chapter One dodged a lot of the weird metaphysical aspects from the original novel, helping it remain more of a straightforward horror tale. But, Chapter Two has a chance to expand further on Pennywise's origins.
In the novel, It has lived in the area of Derry for millennia. Before the dawn of man, this interdimensional entity crashed into the land under Derry, festering away forever. Chapter Two could somehow expand further and explore these weirder aspects, tapping into the near Lovecraftian horror of Pennywise's true nature.
1 Leave Out - The Turtle
That being said, this still needs to be a horror movie through and through. There are aspects of It that completely fly off the rails in the novel and which would tank a film adaption. As much as Stephen King purists might not like it, Chapter Two cannot include the weirdness that is The Turtle.
In the novel, it is revealed that the universe sits on the back of a gargantuan Turtle spirit. Yes, you heard that right. It is such an out-there concept that, on one hand, Stephen King should be commended. But, it would absolutely ruin the film version of It. Ideas like this are way too out there for mainstream audiences.