Pennywise is back.
The highly anticipated horror sequel It: Chapter Two unveiled its first look at CinemaCon on Tuesday. A follow-up to 2017’s box office smash based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the sequel follows “The Losers Club” 27 years after the events of the first film.
Set in the present day, the club reunites in accordance with their blood oath to fight the evil clown Pennywise a second time. Older versions of the kids from the 1980s-set first film will be portrayed by the likes of James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in this sequel, though the younger versions will also appear in memory and flashback sequences.
Director Andy Muschietti, who is returning after overseeing the first film, took the stage accompanied by Pennywise’s signature red balloons to begin the proceedings. The majority of the cast, both the younger members of The Losers Club and their adult counterparts, were on-hand to unveil the new footage and first look at the sequel. Only Jaeden Martell was missing, and McAvoy, Martell’s adult counterpart onscreen, joked, “He’s too talented and he threatens me, so I made him disappear.”
Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) who plays the younger version of Richie told the crowd he lobbied for Bill Hader to play the adult version of his character. He strove to make “Richie as funny as he could be because that’s the job in the book.” Hader joked that Wolfhard landed him the gig, and Wolfhard said he wanted Hader to play grown-up Richie because of his renowned comedy skills. “I was like, well, Richie’s funny to himself,” said Wolfhard, and Hader retorted, “Yeah, Richie thinks he’s funny. It’s like, who’s an a–hole who thinks he’s funny? Who laughs at his own jokes a lot?”
The first footage heavily featured Jessica Chastain, who plays the adult version of Beverly Marsh, including shots of her visiting her childhood home and encountering Pennywise. It was mostly quick-cut footage featuring the kids, their adult counterparts, Pennywise, and those terrifying red balloons. While the footage was brief, the overarching sense was that the first look at the sequel lived up to its frightening predecessor with many describing it as “bloody” and “scary.” One person even noted “adult diapers needed for this film!” See below for a series of reactions to the footage.
The sequel is also an adaptation of King’s 1,000 plus page novel. The two films together make up the entirety of the novel, and it was always the filmmaker’s intention to divide the story into two distinct parts.
The film debuts Sept. 6.