‘It: Chapter 2’ – Release date, casting news, trailers and everything we know so far

Coulrophobiacs, look away now – because it looks like Pennywise is here to stay. As It rakes in one of the biggest openings for horror films in modern history, the cogs are turning on the sequel for Stephen King’s It. Here’s what we know about It 2, from release date to casting details.

The latest:

  • The sequel will include the horrifying ‘Jade of the Orient’ scene from Stephen King’s novel.
  • ‘It 2’ is definitely the final chapter – it won’t become a trilogy
  • First look images of Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise on the set of the new film are revealed
  • Director Andy Muschietti shares blood-splattered photo with Jessica Chastain, confirming that her filming is complete
  • Set photo reveals first look at adult Losers’ Club in action
  • Casting confirmed for who will play the adult version of Henry Bowers
  • James McAvoy has shared a photo of the cast, suggesting a crossover between the adult and child cast

Spoilers for It below

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Read More: NME’s review of It

When is It 2 being released?

It 2 will be released on September 6, 2019.

Has It 2 begun production?

On June 19, actor James McAvoy confirmed that production had started with a post on Instagram. “DAY 1 on IT 2” he captioned the snap. It doesn’t give much more away than that though, with McAvoy focusing on his on-set snack of choice: a Dairylea cheese triangle. Then on September 3, director Andy Muschietti shares blood-splattered photo with Jessica Chastain, confirming that her filming is complete.

Check out both posts below.

A script was due to be finished for the next instalment in January 2018, according to insiders Den of Geek. Currently in the frame to be behind the camera for It 2 is Andy Muschietti, who directed It. Speaking to MTV, he said he’d be “very, very happy about doing Chapter Two”. None of this has been confirmed officially but it’d be a shock if they didn’t follow the formula that has already worked.

Read More: ‘IT’s Bill Skarsgård: Meet the man behind the demonic clown Pennywise

What’s going to happen in It 2?

Naturally, being a book that was released in 1986 – we already know the ending of Stephen King’s bloody-long novel. But for those not in the loop: here’s a quick refresher about the premise. After defeating Pennywise in the first chapter the group agree to return to Derry as adults should It ever return to their hometown. In an after credits scene, we hear Pennywise’s maniacal laugh, confirming that the monster has survived the kids’ beating.

Lo and behold, It returns 27 years later to pick off the next generation of kids in Derry, and the kids stay true to their word to take It on all over again. Obviously there’s more to it than just the kids. As adults, much of The Losers Club have moved away from Derry, married, got new jobs and more, all of which play crucial parts in the book’s plot – like Beverly’s relationship with abusive husband Tom, and Bill’s partner Audra.

Speaking to Syfy, Muschietti revealed how the film would incorporate the character Maturin – an ancient turtle and the antithesis of It. “But I think in the second part, the turtle will try to help them. In the second movie, the turtle left a few clues to their childhood that they don’t remember,” he said to them. “They have to retrieve those memories from the summer of 1989, and that’s how we jump back to 1989. The keys to defeating to Pennywise are left in the past, and as adults, they don’t remember.”

It’s also been revealed that the film will feature the ‘Jade of the Orient’ moment that was included in Stephen King’s original book.

In the novel, the Losers’ Club reunite for the first time for Chinese meal at the Jade of the Orient restaurant. At the end of the meal, they each receive a fortune cookie that contains a terrifying personalised prize – and it’s the first sign that Pennywise will make his return.

“For me it was just really fun to be able to revisit these characters and see what they’re up to 27 years later,” he explained.

“The Jade of the Orient is such a defining and iconic scene in the book. That was something I remember as a thing I was writing towards”, screenwriter Gary Dauberman told SlashFilm.

“It was like, ‘Okay, coming up is Jade of the Orient. That’s going to be super cool’. It was a nice signpost to write towards which I dug.”

We also know that It’s true form will feature in the climatic showdown. But judging by the 1990 TV/film, It 2 really needs to make sure it’s as terrifying and grim as portrayed in the book

For the sake of spoilers, we’ll leave the premise here. But know this: it’s as terrifying as the first half. However, James McAvoy has shared a photo of the adult cast of the Losers Club along with the children from the previous film – suggesting that there will be crossover scenes in the movie:

It has also been confirmed that the film won’t stretch all the way to a trilogy.

“No, this is a complete story,” Gary Dauberman said.

“The ending I think will satisfy the audience and maybe break their hearts a little bit.”

Read More: It – the freakiest Pennywise-inspired clown pranks

Who’s going to be in It 2?

We’ll be in for a whole new cast. As mentioned, It 2 will tackle the book’s second chapter, which is set 27 years later as the group return as adults.

Variety reports that Altered Carbon star Teach Grant will come to the sequel to play the adult version of the bully Henry Bowers.

James McAvoy’s behind-the-scenes photo from the shoot confirmed that the actor will feature in the movie. He’ll feature as the main character, portraying an adult Bill Denbrough.

Speaking to CinemaBlend, the child stars of the film previously suggested several names of who could play their adult versions – which included Christian Bale (Bill), Bill Hader (Richie), Jake Gyllenhaal (Eddie), Joseph Gordon Levitt (Stan), Chris Pratt (Ben), Chadwick Boseman (Mike) and Jessica Chastain (Beverly). This, obviously, is semi-serious, but it doesn’t sound like a bad team, does it?

Chastain later confirmed that she is in the film. She shared an Instagram post from the first day of filming, confirming the casting in the caption. Her post also confirms that filming is taking place in  Toronto, Canada.

Chastain also recently shared some cool fan art – which sees her grown-up iteration of Beverly Marsh being contrasted against Sophia Lillis’ depiction of the character.

Meanwhile, Digital Trends reports that Bill Hader will take the role of Richie, which was played by Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard in the last film. Jay Ryan will star as Ben Hanscom, James Ransone will play Eddie Kaspbrak, and the film’s Stanley Uris will be portrayed by Andy Bean. Isaiah Mustafa confirmed on Instagram that he will be playing Mike Hanlon.

A photo shared on the movie’s official Twitter account also confirms the casting news. In it, Chastain, McAvoy and Hader are joined by Ransone, Bean, Uris, and Mustafa at a script read-through. The photo was captioned: “Back to Derry with these Losers.”

This doesn’t mean the kids won’t feature at all. Speaking to MTV, Muschietti revealed that he would want to maintain the similar structure that features in the book, which flits between The Losers Club both as adults and as children. At present, it’s thought that Muschietti will feature the children in flash-back sequences.

Pennywise, meanwhile, is definitely going to return to wreak havoc on Derry, Maine, once again – just like in the second chapter of the book. Bill Skarsgård, the man who underwent the transformation into the terrifying clown, has been confirmed to return.

More new additions to the cast have now been announced. Xavier Dolan will play Adrian Mellon, a Derry man in a relationship with Don Hagarty. In the book, Adrian is thrown off a bridge by homophobic teenagers, leaving him at Pennywise’s mercy. Will Beinbrink, meanwhile, will play Tom Rogan. Tom is married to Beverley and is abusive to her.

We’ve also now had the first look at the cast on set thanks to a new photo showing the cast on set today (31 August). It shows Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy joining the rest of the Loser’s Club – who are now all grown up – the first picture of the new group all together on set.

Meanwhile, the first pictures of Bill Skarsgård in character as Pennywise on set have been revealed today (September 3). The pictures show the actor filming scenes in Toronto. Despite being in daylight, the demonic clown still looks completely terrifying as he sits on the shoulder of erm, a giant lumberjack who is wielding a baseball bat.

As reported in Digital Spy, speaing about the cast of the new movie, Skarsgård said: “It’s going to be a very different experience this time around, just given the fact that you have all of these incredible, seasoned actors to play against, as opposed to having all the kids…it’s going to be a different experience for sure…but I’m looking forward to it.”

Read More: Seven ways the new It movie differs from Stephen King’s novel