No matter your critical thoughts on Andy Muschietti‘s big-screen adaptations of Stephen King‘s IT, there’s no denying the two films clown-danced their way to the freaking bank. The two-part tale of a gang of small-town misfits taking on an immortal fear-monster from beyond the stars currently holds the #1 and #2 spots for horror film openings—2017’s Chapter One at $123.4 million and Chapter 2 at $91 million—with the second part currently sitting at the top spot worldwide. In the age of tentpoles and franchises, money usually = sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, and although IT: Chapter Two wraps up the events in King’s source novel, a few big names behind the scenes seem keen for a return trip to Derry…but not any Derry we’d recognize.
Speaking to EW, Bill Skarsgård—who portrays Pennywise the homicidal clown in both chapters—noted his enthusiasm for exploring the story that takes place before King’s book.
“It would have to be the right type of approach to it,” said Skarsgård. “The book ends where the second movie ends, so that is the final chapter of this story. There is this interesting aspect of going back in time before all this happened. There might be a story there that might be worth exploring. Obviously that would be a story that’s not in the book, it would be a freestanding story, but obviously within the same universe. So, there might be something interesting out of it. I think it would be fun.”
In both book and film, the shape-shifting being known only as IT crash-landed on Earth millions of years ago, causing chaos and paranoia in its every-27-years feeding frenzies across entire millenniums. Speaking to io9, Muschietti also just happened to point out that’s a long period of time ripe for the storytelling:
“There is a whole mythology to the book though…Mythology is something that always has opportunities to explore. It [aka Pennywise] has been on Earth for millions of years. He’s been in contact with humans for hundreds of years, every 27 years. So you can imagine the amount of material. It’s always exciting to think of eventually exploring this mythology. It’s very exciting. But, for now, there’s nothing on the table.”
That last bit is important; there’s no official word on any post-Chapter 2 projects in the IT-iverse. Muschietti is currently signed on to direct the standalone Flash movie for Warner Bros., although given the history of that project we’re probably more likely to get the Pennywise Jukebox Musical before the standalone Flash movie. So, for now, take everything with a grain of salt and just sort of take notice every time someone from the cast or creative team says a prequel would be a great idea.
Personally, I think it’s the opposite of a great idea, given the fact “Pennywise” works on a Joker level where the character works better when it’s at least slightly unexplainable. (Just something about clowns, I suppose.) I am willing to give it a chance if A) the prequel is titled IT’s Alive, IT’s A-Livin’, or IT Happens, and B) Warner Bros. pays me $3 million for whichever title they choose.