Probably the most anticipated horror movie of 2019 has its first reveal in the just-released teaser trailer for It Chapter 2, an extended clip featuring Jessica Chastain’s adult Beverly Marsh. It’s time to revisit Pennywise, and all those awful things in Derry.
Warner Brothers took their time to release the teaser trailer for the eagerly awaited sequel to the 2017 blockbuster It, and they did it in grand fashion. For most movies, trailers are designed to introduce you to the characters and give you an outline of a plot to lure you in. The biggest properties, however, like the Marvel films or Star Wars can produce a whole sequence for the audience, as we all are familiar with the characters, to begin with. No need to tease, just unveil some red meat for the fans.
It: Chapter 2 is one such feature. Not only does it have the fabulous provenance of being the back half of one of Stephen King’s most beloved stories, but the first movie set records for R rated horror movies at the box office. Like the 1990 TV series, there is a natural break to the story, with half of the book dealing with the Loser’s Club as kids, and the second half as the same group back as adults, summoned back to their old messed up town of Derry with that demon clown due for a cyclical return.
A stellar cast of actors has been brought in to play the adult versions of the losers club, with the likes of A-list actors James McAvoy (Bill) and Bill Hader (Richie), along with lesser-known veteran actors Jay Ryan (Ben), James Ransone (Eddie), Andy Bean (Stanley) and Isiah Mustafa (Mike), in what I think is a fine mix of the familiar and the new. I am particularly interested to see Mustapha, most well known for his fantastically amusing Old Spice commercials.
Clearly, WB is banking on the star power and remarkable physical resemblance of Jessica Chastain to the child version of Beverly, Sophia Lillis, to bring in the audience. For many, (myself included) Lillis was one of the highlights of the first movie. And the resemblance between the two is remarkable, and the production team knows it. Right from the get-go, as soon as the first movie was released, A cottage industry was borne out of casting the adult leads in the intervening time between films, and Chastain was pegged as a perfect match for the role. This teaser sets out to prove those theories correct.
This is not your average trailer. It’s a whole scene, with more traditional trailer elements at the end. This trailer takes an extended look at Beverly’s return to her home in Derry, 27 years later as Pennywise’s cycle of evil influence has returned. This house, if you recall, is a home of much domestic abuse at the hands of her father, and now the old woman who lives in the house is clearly radiating evil vibes.
We also get some quick flashback moments to the kid versions, and in the future, it will be interesting to watch the two movies in sequence to see how much the young actors grew up between the two films and if it is obvious. Think of Game of Thrones as a great example of a film schedule outpacing the story, relative to the aging of child actors.
Here’s the thing. The adult actors don’t need to be superstars here. They need to support the story and make it work as well as the kids did. Bill Skarsgård and his lazy eye are back for a turn at Pennywise, and after being so powerfully scary in the first movie, it will be interesting to see how comparably horrifying he will be when confronted with the adults. How violent and gory will this installment be? They toned down some of the more nasty and tawdry elements from the book in Chapter 1, which given that you’re watching kids, made some sense, but now will WB be willing to take the kid gloves off?
It: Chapter 2 will be showing in theaters on September 6, and undoubtedly we will be hearing (and seeing) much more about this film as we get closer to the release date.