The big-screen version of Stephen King's It broke box office records over its opening weekend. Naturally, thoughts have been turning to a sequel, with recent news that writer Gary Dauberman has been hired to begin work on the screenplay.
As we noted previously, King's novel alternated between two time periods in which the supernatural entity that takes the form of a clown known as Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) stalks the children of Derry, Maine in 1988 and 1989. It the movie covers the first time period and it's expected that the sequel will pick up the story 27 years later, when all the characters are adults in the modern day.
Director Andy Muschietti told EW: "On the second movie, that dialogue between timelines will be more present. If we’re telling the story of adults, we are going to have flashbacks that take us back to the ‘80s and inform the story in the present day.” Producer Barbara Muschietti says: “The hope is we’ll find the best way soon, because it’s also important for Andy to get flashbacks with the kids, who are growing very fast. They are an important component in the next film.”
Naturally, the producers are also discussing the casting of the adult versions of the characters. While fans have been clamoring for Jessica Chastain to be considered as the adult version of Beverly Marsh (played by Sophia Lillis in It, above), the reality is that the producers will be constrained by the adult actors' schedules and availability. Sources told EW that unknown actors might be a better fit; after all, It didn't feature any known stars, which certainly did not keep anyone away from theaters.
Andy Muschietti also told EW that the character of Mike Hanlon, played by Chosen Jacobs (above), will deviate from King's novel: “My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book. I want to make his character the one pivotal character who brings them all together, but staying in Derry took a toll with him. I want him to be a junkie actually. A librarian junkie. When the second movie starts, he’s a wreck.”
The report also covers more details that venture further into spoiler territory, but one adult actor has been confirmed for the sequel: Bill Skarsgard will return as Pennywise. We'll look forward to more confirmations in the coming days.