Note: Contains spoilers for It Chapter Two.
It Chapter Two looks set to follow in the footsteps of the first movie and be a box-office success, so usually we’d be thinking about the next movie already.
But will we be getting an It Chapter Three? We’re not convinced.
Speaking to Digital Spy before the release of the movie, director Andy Muschietti certainly feels as though this is the end.
“I think it’s a good thing. This is the conclusion of the story between the Losers versus Pennywise. This is the end. At the end, there’s a conclusion, there’s a resolution,” he explained.
And there certainly is a resolution. But to explore why that ending won’t lead to a Chapter Three, we have to head into spoiler territory, so look away now if you haven’t seen It Chapter Two yet…
After splitting the timelines from Stephen King’s original book, It Chapter Two follows the adult Losers Club 27 years after the events of the first movie.
Mike brings them all back to Derry to defeat Pennywise once and for all because, if they don’t, they’ll die before they get another chance. So they all stick around for one final battle with Pennywise… and they win.
They are able to overcome their fears, make Pennywise feel small and crush his heart, freeing themselves – and Derry – of the evil clown. They all go back to their lives, only this time they remember what happened, and Mike finally leaves Derry behind in the final shot of the movie.
To continue the story with an It Chapter Three, you’d have to include the Losers Club and Pennywise and bringing either back would cheapen the ending of Chapter Two. Perhaps we’re being naïve, but we hope that Warner Bros wouldn’t do that even if the movie is a huge box-office hit.
While Muschietti’s two-part adaptation did leave some aspects of King’s book out, the movies did largely cover the entire story of the book when it comes to the Losers, so there’s nothing there to adapt in a third movie.
Maybe there’s another way that they can continue the world of It without doing a conventional Chapter Three.
Two elements that both movies (wisely) left out from the book were the wider Macroverse, including Maturin the cosmic turtle, and the general origins of Pennywise, or IT as the creature is known in the book.
The Macroverse stuff could prove too weird to adapt for the screen but there is still plenty we don’t know about Pennywise and his history. It’s something that Muschietti has thought about too.
“Mythology is something that always has opportunities to explore. It 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,” he told io9.
Now, that doesn’t mean Muschietti will explore it (“there’s nothing on the table”), it just means that the scope is there to continue the It world in maybe a spin-off movie or even a TV spin-off.
There’s a danger something like that might feel repetitive (Pennywise resurfaces, kills some kids, goes away, repeat!), but in the right hands – and if they can get Bill Skarsgård to reprise the role – then it could prove just as much of a horror treat as It Chapter One and Two. And of course in the book, IT only takes the form of Pennywise for a part of its long history. Sounds like an anthology series to us.
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By focusing on Pennywise and not continuing the story of the Losers Club, any spin-off wouldn’t diminish what Muschietti achieved with the two movies, so it seems a safer bet than manufacturing a return for Pennywise, who is very dead at the end of It Chapter Two.
Whether anything happens remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t bet against us all floating again.
It Chapter Two is in cinemas now.