We officially have less than a year to wait until the arrival of Andy Muschietti‘s IT: Chapter Two. The bad news is that it’s still almost a year away, but the good news is that it’ll most likely be worth the wait. Not only is the adult cast of the Losers Club incredible, but returning collaborators Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman get to capitalize on the shorthand they established on the first film in order to bring their vision to the big screen. And that vision includes some of the stranger elements of Stephen King‘s classic horror tome. Some story spoilers follow.
Speaking with Cinemablend, Dauberman talked about his screenwriting process and collaboration with Muschietti while teasing some of the story elements that they’re folding into the script. Now while certain scenes might sound good on the page, there’s still a ways to go before the sequel and closing chapter hits theaters on September 6, 2019, so we’ll have to wait until then to see how much of the adaptation makes the cut.
The first scene in question might very well serve as the opening of IT: Chapter Two, which would be a nice parallel to the book considering that it served to set up the contemporary storyline in Derry, Maine. That scene, of course, centers on Adrian Mellon, a young gay man living in the beleaguered town with his life partner, Don Hagarty. The two attend the local fair while talking about whether or not to settle down in Derry, and that’s where I’ll leave their story for now. Xavier Dolan has already been cast in the role with Taylor Frey as Don, so there’s a good chance they’ll at least make it to the Blu-ray’s deleted scenes. Here’s what Dauberman had to say about the scene in question and how he and Muschietti split story responsibilities:
I think that’s something that Andy gave a lot of thought about, which was great, because as I was kind of chugging along through the Adrian Melon stuff and sort of more the stuff that’s in the book that you kind of just want to see on screen. I’m writing that stuff, and Andy would kind of go off and think about Chüd and how he wants to visually represent all that stuff. He just came up with some brilliant, brilliant stuff… It really is going to be amazing.
Now as for the weirder side of King’s storytelling. The aforementioned Ritual of Chüd is the manner in which the Losers, in both timelines, were able to defeat Pennywise. As is the way with some of the best writing out there, King’s description of the scene is both weirdly specific and purposefully vague, giving the reader enough to chew on, so to speak, without painting a myopic picture of exactly what’s going on.
The ritual is essentially a battle of wits and wills, a staring contest mixed with a riddle challenge, as King is fond of doing. While Pennywise may be injured by physical things that the Losers ascribe power to through their own belief, lessening their own fear, the only way to defeat him is through this ritual. But it kind of happens on a spiritual/headspace level, something that’s difficult to do in a visual medium.
Here’s how Dauberman danced around the ritual’s inclusion:
The Ritual of Chüd is challenging, but it’s such an important component to the book that we had to address it. That stuff is difficult to balance, but because [director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and I] worked with each other before, when I’m writing pages and all that stuff it becomes more of a conversation and less like, ‘Hey, here’s what I did.’ It’s sort of organic; it’s really kind of just chipping away at the stone and trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of more metaphysical aspects of that book.
We’ll see how it all shakes out when IT: Chapter Two arrives on screens next fall. Until then, practice your riddles and tongue-twisters!