The length of Stephen King’s 1986 book “It,” which is the first item that needs to be acknowledged, is over 1,100 pages. Two periods are covered in the book about a group of seven friends who are being followed by a demonic, shape-shifting clown that resides beneath their small Maine town: The first part of the book takes place in the 1950s when the protagonists are somewhere between 12 and 14 years old, and the second half is set in the current day when the protagonists have become miserable adults who are still plagued by flashbacks to their childhood foe. The novel switches back and forth between these two eras to illustrate how confronting a monster and your worst fears as a child may result in trauma and dysfunction as an adult. The 1980s will ultimately require another confrontation with the clown.
The “It” mythology is convoluted and perplexing. The novel explains that the wicked shape-shifting clown Pennywise is actually an old, eldritch spider monster from another dimension that “surrounds” known space, even if this isn’t mentioned in the films or TV miniseries adaptations. Since his arrival on Earth aeons ago, Pennywise has been pursuing the residents of Derry, Maine, on a regular basis. Pennywise breaks out of its hibernation cycle once every 27 years to consume human flesh. It long ago discovered that people are tastier when they are experiencing extreme terror, and as a result, it learnt to read people’s minds and adopt the form of whatever they were most afraid of. One must perform the Ritual of Chd in order to see the monster’s real form.
The fact that Pennywise’s arch-enemy is a gigantic galactic turtle named Maturin—the same one from many of the old creation stories of Earth—is also mostly unmentioned in the films or miniseries. When this turtle had a tummy pain, it puked the universe. Clown Pennywise despises the ancient giant space turtle god.
Let’s look at the TV and movie adaptations now that everyone is in agreement.
The It movies
Tommy Lee Wallace wrote and helmed a miniseries version of “It” in 1990. The miniseries was divided into two movie-length episodes, one set in the 1950s with a kid cast and the other in the present. Tim Curry played the clown, who made a terrifying impression on all the kids who saw him. The miniseries is roughly 192 minutes long in an effort to mirror the length and density of the novel.
In 2017, filmmaker Andy Muschietti adapted “It” once more, this time as two feature pictures, working from a script by Chase Palmer, Gary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman. The first “It” from was also divided into two parts, like the miniseries, and took place in the past when the characters were still kids but time-shifted to the late 1980s. 2019 saw the publication of “It Chapter Two,” which was written solely by Dauberman and takes place in the present with a fresh cast of grownups. The same young performers from the previous chapter returned for lengthy flashbacks in “It Chapter Two,” not to be outdone. The combined running time of the two “It” feature films was 304 minutes.
The Clown Demon (played by Bill Skarsgard) was defeated once more by the bravery and cunning of the people at the end of “It Chapter Two,” but there was still a lot of the plot unresolved. One was that the turtle god wasn’t mentioned. Second, the children in the 2017 movie performed a lot of their own research into Pennywise’s origins and discovered spooky old photographs and movie reels from the time when Pennywise initially assumed the guise of a clown. This suggested that Pennywise had a much more extensive past, one that was probably filled with horrifying instances of people being tortured and eaten throughout Derry’s shadowy past.
Many people enjoyed the “It” movies, and some people pondered whether Pennywise’s unresolved past would ever return to the big screen. Director Andy Muschietti put an end to these speculations in an interview with Gizmodo, pretty much confirming definitively that it will not happen.
It Chapter Three
Being diplomatic, Muschietti politely declined to affirm or deny anything:
“Mythology is something that always has opportunities to explore. It has been on Earth for millions of years. He’s been in contact with humans for hundreds of years, every 27 years. So you can imagine the amount of material … It’s always exciting to think of eventually exploring this mythology. It’s very exciting.”
Does that imply…?
“But, for now, there’s nothing on the table.”
It would have to make up a story from scratch if there were to be a “It Chapter Three.” The third chapter, which would take place 27 years after the events of the 2019 film, would reverse much of the power the protagonists had attained and render numerous significant sacrifices useless. As such, the story of King’s novel had essentially been fully told.
HBO Max employees may be developing a “It” prequel series as a result of their apparent intuition that a sequel would not be a good idea.
A miniseries titled “Welcome to Derry” is now in development and is planned to take place in the same time period as the Muschietti flicks, according to a Variety article from April 2022. According to Variety, “Welcome to Derry” will take set in the 1960s, 27 years before “It,” and will highlight Pennywise’s genesis.