Now that you’ve recovered from the first trailer for IT: Chapter Two, we hope you’ll join us for a closer look at the grown-up Losers Club, the town of Derry, and all things Stephen King. While the best marketing for the sequel is the overwhelming success of the first film that took audiences and movie theaters by storm in the fall of 2017, this trailer does a solid job of rekindling the terror of the title creature, a.k.a. Pennywise. And it’s pretty straightforward in that it introduces Jessica Chastain‘s character, an older version of Sophia Lillis‘ Beverly Marsh, visiting her childhood home, which is where everything starts to unravel.
But there’s a lot more going on here beneath the surface and behind the scenes, much like “It” lurks in the shadowy places of Derry until it’s strong enough to step out into the light. So we wanted to do a breakdown of this first trailer to give you a better idea of just what’s going on here. If you’ve seen the first movie or even the 90s miniseries (or better yet, read King’s lengthy tome), you’ll have a good idea as to what’s happening, what’s coming down the pike, and what’s left unseen until the film’s September 6th release date (or at least until the next trailer).
Also starring James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Bill Hader as Richie Tozer, James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak, Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom, Andy Bean as Stanley Uris, and Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlo, with Wyatt Oleff, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, and Jack Dylan Grazer reprising their roles through flashbacks, screenwriter Gary Dauberman and director Andy Muschietti‘s follow-up film arrives this fall. And thanks to THR, we have a bit more insight from Dauberman to guide us on this trailer breakdown. Some story spoilers will follow.
The first thing we see in this trailer is Beverly arriving at her childhood apartment to see how things have changed in the last 27 years … but that’s not where Beverly’s story starts. If you pay close attention to Beverly throughout this lengthy scene, you’ll notice that she has bruises on her left arm and wrist. That’s a relatively subtle nod to the fact that Beverly, who grew up with an abusive father, ended up marrying an abusive man. Dauberman confirmed that this storyline will be in the new movie, saying, “We try to be true to the novel.”
So while Beverly may have escaped her domestic abuse situation for the moment, things are not alright in Derry. The elderly Mrs. Kersh, who seems harmless if a bit spacey, welcomes Beverly in for some tea. Except that we clearly see that the sign on the door read “Marsh”, as if it never changed; in the novel, Beverly double checks this nameplate and it does indeed read “Kersh”, so she starts to second guess her own intuition. The movie version of Beverly, who happens upon an old love letter/postcard (written by Ben in secret but which Beverly believes was written by Bill), sits down for tea with Mrs. Kersh. But is that really tea?
In the previous versions of the story, definitely not. In the 90s miniseries, it was blood; in the novel, sewer water, to put it mildly. Time will tell if Mrs. Kersh’s tea is something else entirely in this movie. But one thing’s for certain: Kersh revealing her “parentage” through the circus and Pennywise the Dancing Clown (before emerging from the kitchen stark naked and running at Beverly) means that the title terror is at it again.
It’s at this point that the trailer goes the more traditional route, getting the gang back together to remember the good ol’ times / put Pennywise down once and for all. But while they’ve been gone, evil things have still been happening in Derry. Take, for example, a short story that comes very early on in the novel, right after the introductory tale of Bill and Georgie’s fateful day meeting Pennywise for the first time. This is the story of Adrian Mellon (Xavier Dolan) and his same-sex partner Don Hagarty (Taylor Frey). Without getting into specifics, a hate crime occurs during a festival in Derry, and it serves to underpin the evil that lurks within the town itself. Dauberman also confirmed that that particular scene will appear in the movie:
“It is an iconic scene in the book and one we wanted to include in the movie. It is the first attack in present-day Derry and sets the stage for what Derry has become. It is the influence of Pennywise even while he is hibernating, and it’s pure evil what happens … These bullies working through Pennywise was important for us to show.”
The rest of the trailer arrives in fits and starts with various scenes of the Losers Club, then and now, finding their way around an oddly deserted Derry. If you pay close attention, you’ll see that the adult versions of the group don’t always match up with their childhood counterparts, and there are lots of spoilery reasons for that:
Eventually, the gang gets back together at a local Chinese food restaurant to rehash old times, piece together their somewhat fuzzy memories, and concoct a plan to put down Pennywise. In the books, Mike is the only one who has remained behind for those 27 years as the town’s librarian and amateur historian. It’s his memory that anchors the rest of them and his initial call that brings them back to Derry when the child abductions and murders start again. But nothing in Derry is beyond the reach of Pennywise, not even “Jade of the Orient.”
From there, things go (un)predictably crazy for the Losers. They’re terrorized by Pennywise at all times and in all places, a few of which are teased in this trailer. There’s an interesting shot of Hader’s Richie staring up at a Paul Bunyan statue as Pennywise soars over it on his bundle of red balloons. In the book, this statue comes alive and chases Richie down the street, but it remains to be seen if the movie will get that campy with things. Riche sure does see something that the folks behind him don’t seem to notice, however.
And as you might have guessed, though it’s surprising that they revealed it in this trailer, the Losers have to head back into the sewer to dispatch Pennywise for good. There are some subtle changes from the book to the movie here, like the fact that Mike seems to be accompanying them for the final battle rather than being sidelined after a heroic sacrifice. Sounds like a good change, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.
But before Pennywise is sent back to the hellmouth from which he emerged, he’s still up to no good in Derry, even where the Losers Club aren’t concerned. He’s seen luring a little girl to, presumably, her death in the shadows, just in case we needed to be reminded that this clown needs to be stopped.
Here’s the official synopsis for IT Chapter Two:
Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, “IT CHAPTER TWO” brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film. James McAvoy (“Split,” upcoming “Glass”) stars as Bill, Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Mama”) as Beverly, Bill Hader (HBO’s “Barry,” “The Skeleton Twins”) as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa (TV’s “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments”) as Mike, Jay Ryan (TV’s “Mary Kills People”) as Ben, James Ransone (HBO’s “The Wire”) as Eddie, and Bill Skarsgård returning in the seminal role of Pennywise. Andy Bean (“Allegiant,” Starz’ “Power”) plays Stanley, and reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.