The highly anticipated horror sequel It: Chapter Two may take place 27 years after the events of the first film, but the villainous Pennywise has not forgotten what those little kids in Derry did to him. Spoiler alert I suppose for those who haven’t seen the first It, which is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, but after being terrorized by Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise for most of the movie, the kids finally hit back and inflict fear in the being for the very first time.
That feeling has stuck with Pennywise when he makes his triumphant return 27 years later, as the sequel picks up with the characters as adults, with James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and more filling those roles. And ahead of the trailer debut today, Skarsgard is shedding a little light on what fans can expect from Pennywise this time around.
Speaking with EW, Skarsgard says the ending of the first It found Pennywise experiencing fear for the very first time, and when he returns, he’s all the more angry because of it:
“The arc of the first movie is that he, for the first time, experiences fear himself. His last line — ‘Fear…’ — is him experiencing it for the first time, and he’s sort of shocked and perplexed and surprised. Like, what is this? He’s inflicted fear on his prey, and he’s very focused on fear, but he’s never experienced it himself. Now he’s experienced something that he has been inflicting on others and … there’s a shift leading into the second movie.”
That change in It 2 is bad news for the Losers Club:
“It fuels hatred and anger towards the kids, who will be adults in this one, so I think there might be an even more vicious Pennywise. He’s really going after it.”
But just because audiences have seen Pennywise shift and morph into terrifying contortions in the first It doesn’t mean It 2 is lacking in surprises:
“There’s a lot to explore. You can change him or make him whackier, but he’s not really bound to continuity in the sense that a normal character would be. We can explore his unpredictability now that we’ve established the character for the audience. We can still sort of shock them.”
Andy Muschietti returned to direct the follow-up, which adapts the second half of King’s novel so it’s not like we’re heading into uncharted territory. But there are some pretty crazy things that happen in King’s book, so it’ll be interesting to see how they’re handled in the context of the film, given that the first movie had its own changes to King’s source material—for the better.
We’ll find out later this year when It: Chapter Two hits theaters on September 6th.