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How The IT Franchise Can Continue After Chapter Two

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Andy Muschietti's eagerly-anticipated sequel IT Chapter Two will ostensibly also be the final chapter in the story of the Losers' Club vs. Pennywise - but it doesn't have to be. Last year's IT was a staggering success at the box office, grossing more than $700 million worldwide, so it seems almost certain that Warner Bros. will be looking for a way to milk Stephen King's novel beyond a two-part story. Could the IT movies become a full-blown franchise and - if so - what shape might that take?

Warner Bros. has already expanded one horror movie into a sprawling cinematic universe, with James Wan's The Conjuring becoming the seed for the Conjuring Universe - which includes spinoffs like The Nun and Annabelle. IT was an even bigger success than the first Conjuring movie, so it would actually be surprising if the studio wasn't already making plans beyond IT Chapter Two.

Related: What The IT Chapter Two Set Photos Reveal About The Sequel

Horror sequels, prequels and spinoffs can often feel like a lazy cash grab, but that doesn't mean that they have to be. IT actually has plenty of legitimate potential for a continuation - whether through another sequel with Pennywise and the Losers' Club returning, a prequel movie, or an expansion into other Stephen King stories.

Stephen King's IT Is Part of A Shared Universe

While some might roll their eyes at the idea of yet another cinematic universe, Stephen King's own shared multiverse predates the likes of the MCU or DCEU. Those familiar with King's expansive collection of novels will know that IT connects to the mythology of the Dark Tower series, and that the Losers' Club are actually under the protection of a godlike being called Maturin the Turtle. Though Maturin was never explicitly mentioned in IT (Muschietti has said "I was never too crazy about the mythology"), the movie did feature a couple of turtle references. At one point, Bill finds a LEGO turtle belonging to his brother, and at another point the kids find a turtle while swimming in the quarry. There's also turtle wallpaper in Bill's house.

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That's not to say that the movies should necessarily expand to explore all of the bizarre corners of King's multiverse and mythology - especially given that Sony's recent Dark Tower movie was a box office flop. However, if Warner Bros. did want to build upon the existing concept of Stephen King's stories taking place in a shared universe (a concept that recent Hulu series Castle Rock played around with), the precedent does exist in the books. But we'll return to the idea of spinoffs and other connected movies later. First of all: could there be a way for Pennywise himself to return after IT Chapter Two?

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An IT Prequel Could Show Pennywise's Origins

Looking to the Conjuring universe for inspiration, one way to bring back Pennywise after his defeat in IT Chapter Two would be to have a prequel movie that reveals more about his origins. According to King's mythology, It is an entity as old as time itself, which manifests in various forms - including as a giant female spider. IT established that the creature has awoken in Derry before, feasting on the town's children, and Ben found drawings of the wicked clown in historical books about the town. With that in mind, a prequel movie could explore one of the previous instances in which It awoke, and could even feature a group of kids who are the ancestors of the present-day Losers' Club.

Page 2: IT Sequels Could Investigate Other Stephen King Monsters

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