The second instalment of Stephen King's terrifying horror saga picks up 27 years after the first movie, pitting the older Losers Club members against the demonic Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) in one final, life-changing battle.
The film runs at a hefty 165 minutes long, relatively unusual for a horror movie, but no doubt you've heard director Andy Muschietti talking about a potential 'supercut' of the movie.
This would combine the younger and older Losers' storylines together in the manner of King's novel, incorporating deleted scenes from both IT movies (Muschietti says the original cuts of IT CHAPTER TWO ran at 240 minutes and 205 minutes before again being whittled down), and scenes that haven't even been shot yet.
Muschietti told ET Online: "We’re in talks with the studio to make a supercut, which is basically the two movies edited together with all the material that is not in the released versions. And yeah, there are a couple of scenes that I want to shoot to make this a new experience."
About the scenes that haven't yet been filmed, Muschietti describes them as follows: "One thing is from the novel and the other thing is not. I want to be a little cryptic about it."
Whether this has a chance of making it into theatres remains to be seen. But with Pennywise hype currently at fever pitch, we thought we'd speculate on the IT supercut sequences we'd like to see...
WARNING: IT CHAPTER TWO SPOILERS LIE AHEAD
1. Patrick Hockstetter and the leeches
Let's begin with the first IT movie, currently the most successful horror release of all time (it remains to be seen if IT CHAPTER TWO will challenge this).
We know that foul bully Patrick Hockstetter (Owen Teague) met his end in the sewers at the hands of Pennywise. But his fate in King's book was, if anything, even more ghastly.
While at the garbage dump, he opens an abandoned fridge where he's beset by a host of bloodsucking leeches that suck him dry.
In the book, this grisly sequence is preceded by even more appalling act of degradation between Hockstetter and Henry Bowers (played in the movie by Nicholas Hamilton). All of the horror is observed in private by Beverly Marsh (portrayed by Sophia Lillis in the film).
Of course Hockstetter didn't die this way in the movie, but maybe there's a chance Muschietti shot components of the sequence while ultimately changing the character's fate?
It would be a spine-tingling thing to see, not to mention profoundly disturbing on a human level, which reinforces the evil on which Pennywise thrives.
2. Henry Bowers and Hockstetter
Over to IT CHAPTER TWO, and one of its more blackly comic elements. In the movie, as per the book, Pennywise enlists the older, deranged Bowers (Teach Grant) as his minion, luring him back to Derry, Maine to persecute the Losers. Pennywise does this via the medium of the undead Patrick Hockstetter, who appears as a zombie and helps the former break out of his mental facility, driving him back to Derry for a shocking showdown.
The bizarre nature of this scenario is somewhat underplayed in the movie, although the image of Hockstetter behind the wheel of a car when he's been clearly dead for 27 years is hilarious. Midway through, the ghoul simply disappears from the narrative, and later on the vicious Henry is killed during a conflict with the older Mike (Isaiah Mustafa).
Frankly, we'd love for there to be more scenes elaborating on the American Werewolf in London-style union between someone who's alive, and someone else who's very much six feet under.
3. More development of Richie's sexuality
One of the more surprising and radical moments of IT CHAPTER TWO is the rewriting of Richie Tozier's sexuality.
During a flashback sequence in IT CHAPTER TWO, we get our first indication of the younger Richie's (Finn Wolfhard) orientation, which is a departure from the book. This is later elaborated on during the terrifying Paul Bunyan statue attack, as Pennywise taunts the older Richie (Bill Hader) over his "dirty little secret".
"I didn’t look at the text," Hader tells Collider. "It was more of a conversation with Andy, and we just talked it through. My memory of it… I remember being in his office in Toronto, before we started shooting, and saying, ‘There’s a version of this that’s underplayed, and then there’s a version of this that’s more just more explicit.’
"And I was more into the explicit version, because I just thought it was interesting for the character, and it would be an interesting thing to play. And you don’t want to be coy about it. If you’re going to go to the bell, ring it, you know? And so, it was like, ‘Let’s just do it.'"
Yet amidst the blitz of monsters, spooks and jump scares, it would be great to have more development of Richie's character. The scene-stealing Hader is clearly up to the task (his acting during the aforementioned secret scene is superb), and the end of the movie throws us another curveball by suggesting Richie's longing for friend Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer as a kid; James Ransone as an adult).
In the wake of Eddie's death at the hands (or spider legs) of Pennywise during the final battle, Richie's appropriately devastated response allows Hader to deliver possibly the finest acting of his career. Is there a chance of seeing deleted material that would build upon this?
Hader says of the film's climax: "I think there’s a part of the sadness, spoiler alert, but the sadness towards the end of it is very much about all the things that went unsaid and all the things that were … not just in some sort of a sexual way, but it wasn’t consummated in any sort of emotional way, or any way. You just don’t let someone know what they mean to you, and that, that’s the kind of tragedy of that story, which I thought was really powerful."
- IT CHAPTER TWO: 5 reasons to see it on the big screen
- 12 nightmare-inducing movie clowns who kept us up all night
- 7 terrifying Stephen King books that haven't been turned into movies yet
Surprisingly, the theatrically released version of IT CHAPTER TWO shirks any mention of Maturin, the wise turtle and ancient celestial being who has long been Pennywise's sworn enemy within the Macroverse.
This is a big part of the book's mythology, yet amid IT CHAPTER TWO's exploration of the Shokopiwah Native American mythology (in which we discover Pennywise's arrival on Earth), Maturin isn't mentioned. Not even when Mike undertakes the famous smoke ceremony (one of the most famous moments from the book) does Maturin make an appearance.
This is all the more surprising given the Easter Egg from the first IT movie – we see the younger Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Martell) holding a LEGO turtle that, at the time, appeared to portend Maturin's role. The turtle's ancient conflict with Pennywise, whose true form, the Deadlights, are present and correct in both movies, make for an eccentric yet intriguing resolution to King's story.
Maybe there are deleted scenes out that implicitly, or explicitly, reference Maturin's importance? If so, they would certainly add more ballast to IT CHAPTER TWO's final moments, in which the Losers band together in the sewers of Derry to undertake the Ritual of Chud and defeat Pennywise.
5. Justice for Adrian Mellon
IT CHAPTER TWO opens on a note of savagery and horror that is very much not rooted in the supernatural. Instead, it's all-the-more ugly in its examination of human ignorance and prejudice, as gay man Adrian Mellon (Xavier Dolan) is savagely attacked by a homophobic gang and thrown off a bridge.
This is then the catalyst for Pennywise's return, 27 years after his defeat at the hands of the Losers. A key theme of both the movie and novel is how Pennywise both creates his own sense of evil and exploits that very same evil that exists within human nature.
In this instance, the note of spite and horror that is wrought upon Adrian strikes such an unpleasant chord that it emboldens Pennywise with even more malicious motivations and powers than before. However, Adrian's death (he's devoured by Pennywise after falling from the bridge) is never referenced again, so maybe there's potential for more resolution here?
Muschietti has in fact addressed this. In an interview with Slashfilm, he expressed a desire to shoot two brand new sequences, one of which appears to be related to the Adrian Mellon sequence.
"One of them is something from the book, and the other is a thing that is new," he explains. "It’s related to a resolution of the perpetrators of Adrian Mellon’s beating." Elaborating further, he adds that the scene is "bringing some justice".
6. Bill's wife
During the adult narrative of Stephen King's novel, things get increasingly personal when the older Bill Denbrough's wife, Audra, becomes a pawn in the conflict between Pennywise and the Losers. As King writes it, Audra is kidnapped by Tom Rogan, the abusive husband of Bev Marsh (Jessica Chastain), who brings her to Pennywise's lair as bait in order to lure in the Losers.
This isn't how it goes down in the finished film – Audra's sole appearance comes during struggling author Bill's (James McAvoy) introductory sequence. We get a hint of their tempestuous relationship as they argue on a movie set, before Bill receives a text message from Mike and is summoned back to Derry.
IT CHAPTER TWO's climactic battle makes it very clear that Audra has no involvement, but who's to say there weren't deleted sequences involving both her and Tom (Will Beinbrink) beforehand? It would help flesh out two characters who have a marginal role in the movie, and would also put more flesh on McAvoy's portrayal of the conflicted Bill.
That said it would appear Bill's anguish over Audra in the book has been substituted in the movie anyway. Bill's guilt over his failure to save young brother Georgie now finds an outlet in the form of young kid Dean, played by Luke Roessler.
During one of the film's most frightening scenes, Bill follows Dean into Pennywise's funfair in a doomed attempt to save the child's life – given this occupies an entire story arc on its own, maybe there was never any room for Audra?
Can't wait to see the movie again? Click here to book your tickets for IT CHAPTER TWO and tweet us the IT scenes you'd like to see @Cineworld.