IT Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti explains how there can be more Pennywise movies even though the new film wraps up the book's story. Published in 1986, Stephen King’s IT first introduced the world to the child-eating clown Pennywise, a character destined to become one of the most memorable horror villains of all-time.
King’s Pennywise first came to the screen in the now-infamous 1990 IT TV miniseries, with Tim Curry taking on the juicy role in memorable fashion. When IT finally made its way to the big screen in 2017, Bill Skarsgård tackled the task of bringing Pennywise to life in all his horror, and succeeded in terrifying audiences all over again. Skarsgård returns later this year for the sequel IT Chapter Two, which sees Pennywise emerging after his 27 year hibernation to take on the adult versions of the kids who seemingly vanquished him in the original film. Bill Hader, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain join the cast alongside Skarsgård.
With the upcoming Chapter Two, the main story from King’s book may come to a conclusion, but that doesn't necessarily mean fans have seen the last of Pennywise on screen. Speaking to CinePOP, IT director Muschietti explained exactly how Pennywise could live on in future films. He said:
This is the conclusion of the book, so there is no part three. This is the end of the journey of the Losers against Pennywise. But, as we all know the mythology is very rich, and in Stephen King’s book Pennywise has been around for a million years, he’s been in contact with humans for at least five hundred years, and he comes back every twenty-seven years. So, if you go back and back and back and back, you’ll see a lot of drama.
When asked point-blank if he would personally like to direct another Pennywise movie, Muschietti replied “Eventually.” So clearly, the door is open on the possibility of Muschietti returning at some point to mine the rich Pennywise mythology set up by King’s book. Even if Muschietti doesn’t return himself to make another Pennywise film, it seems almost certain that Warner Bros. and New Line will want to continue with the character, turning him into a recurring horror movie villain a la Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. The original IT made $700 million worldwide, and Chapter Two is currently predicted to enjoy a huge opening when it arrives in September. Given that kind of box office, it would frankly be a shock if producers didn’t figure out some way to keep bringing Pennywise back, establishing an entire franchise built around the character.
The question of whether producers will bring back Pennywise beyond IT Chapter Two is of course separate from the question of whether they should do so. As Muschietti pointed out, there is more Pennywise mythology to delve into, making a prequel seem like a natural idea. But of course it would still be necessary to come up with a good story within that mythology, and that's where things might get sticky. Past horror franchises have demonstrated that you can sell movies just based on a well-known villain, but those franchises have also all tended to see a dip in quality the longer they've gone on, ultimately making the central villain seem more silly than terrifying. More Pennywise movies might seem like a solid financial proposition, but it would also be sad to see the character end up as just another tired bad guy showing up in endless, increasingly terrible sequels.
- IT Chapter Two (2019) release date: Sep 06, 2019