The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King's IT arrived in cinemas to massive box office and wide critical praise, and with it the promise of a second part, with the movie closing with the words "IT Chapter 1".
Though the second chapter hasn't been officially greenlit, negotiations are well under way – co-screenwriter Gary Dauberman has already signed up to start scripting the next instalment, while director Andy Muschietti is also close to inking his own deal with New Line. It's inevitable another instalment will be on its way soon, so what can we expect from the scary-clown sequel?
We've rounded up all the news, quotes and intel available to bring you a guide to the hotly anticipated follow-up. We'll keep it updated as and when news, clips and images break, so bookmark and head back to stay afloat on everything you need to know about It Chapter 2.
It Chapter 2 set up: The story so far
The It films are based on Stephen King's 1986 novel, a great big slab of a book weaving together two time lines – one following seven kids in the late '50s and the other concerned with the same group as grown-ups in the '80s.
It Chapter 1 separated out the narratives, telling the story only of the kids in Derry, Maine – who call themselves The Losers Club – and who encounter an evil entity in the form of Pennywise the dancing clown, a monster who pops up roughly every 27 years usually during a time of violence and eats kids. The git.
CHAPTER 1 SPOILERS
The adult versions of The Losers Club haven't yet featured at all. At the close of Chapter 1 the kids have tracked Pennywise into the sewers where his lair is, have rescued Beverly and have (they think) defeated him.
Only Beverly tells them that when she was looking into the 'deadlights' she had a vision of the losers as adults, back in Derry and looking pretty troubled.
The kids then take a blood oath promising that they'll return if the evil ever comes back.
It Chapter 2 cast: Losers great and small
Once the movie is greenlit, casting will get underway for the grown-up version of the seven members of The Losers Club.
Director Andy Muschietti has said that the young versions of the gang will be returning and the timelines would intertwine, including meaty flashbacks, so it's likely that Muschietti will be keen on casting adult actors who resemble the kids.
From left to right, the kids are:
Eddie Kaspbrak, played by Jack Dylan Grazer
Bill Denbrough, played by Jaeden Lieberher
Mike Hanlon, played by Chosen Jacobs
Stan Uris, played by Wyatt Oleff
Beverly Marsh, played by Sophia Lillis
Ben Hanscom, played by Jeremy Ray Taylor
Richie Tozier, played by Finn Wolfhard
Of course, the internet is awash with speculation and dream casting, with Jessica Chastain the fan favourite for Beverly and Chris Pratt the people's choice for Ben Hanscom. A full-on, all-star line-up is probably a bit much to hope for for what's likely to be a moderately-budgeted movie, though the success of the first film may well attract some star power.
There are some new characters that will likely have significance roles in the sequel – predominantly Bill's wife Audra and Beverly's husband Tom, should the movie chose to include them.
Most importantly, Bill Skarsgård will be returning as Pennywise. He's been impressing the internet without the make-up on – not only with his attractive non-clown face, but also with his freaky natural clown face.
It Chapter 2 plot: playing it by the book?
Andy Muschietti already made some significant changes to the book in the first chapter, so it's likely he won't stick slavishly to every aspect, but – like in part one – will stick to the major beats and plot points.
As a rough overview then, here's what you might be able to expect.
****Potential spoilers for the book and part two underneath. To avoid the spoiler part, skip to the next set of asterisks below ****
After the events of Chapter 1, the gang eventually separate and move away from Derry with the exception of Mike, who stays in town, becomes the librarian and the gatekeeper, keeping watch for any suspicious or violent activity that might point to the return of Pennywise.
Many years later, when the group are all adults, Mike starts to suspect Pennywise is back. He contacts the Losers – who've largely speaking forgotten exactly what happened to them in Derry, just knowing that it was some great trauma.
He rounds them up and they head back to Derry to confront the evil once and for all, followed by Bill's concerned wife Audra and Bev's abusive husband Tom.
Another key character who may return is Henry Bowers, who at the end of Chapter 1 has been pushed down a well and we would assume was killed by the fall, did we not know what happens in the book...
King's story has it that Bowers washes up in the sewers and is blamed for the previous child murders and sent to Juniper Hill Mental Asylum. Years later when IT and The Losers return, Bowers escapes and, controlled by IT, tries to kill the gang.
****END OF SPOILER ZONE ****
Muschietti has already revealed that he's planning to make at least one major change. Mike, who in the novel is a mild-mannered librarian, will be given a much more troubled narrative in the film, Muschietti told EW.
"My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book," he says. "I want to make his character the one pivotal character who brings them all together, but staying in Derry took a toll with him.
"I want him to be a junkie actually. A librarian junkie. When the second movie starts, he's a wreck."
It Chapter 2 macroverse: Turtle Power?
Stephen King's weird extra dimensional world 'The Macroverse' didn't come into Chapter 1 other than via a quick nod to the Turtle by way of a Lego model and a sighting when the kids are swimming (there's a turtle in the macroverse called Maturin who vomited up the Universe. Go with it.)
But don't rule out some macro-business in Chapter 2.
"I was never a fan of the Turtle in the Macroverse mythology. But that doesn't mean it won't be in the second part. But my main concerns are that I don't want this to be a fantasy movie," he told Digital Spy.
It sounds like the Turtle might even have a bigger role than in the book.
"The moment you introduce the element of IT, which is an interdimensional evil entity, the presence of the turtle comes with it, as a counterbalance," he told Syfy Wire. "It doesn't seem to pay a big role, but the turtle is there.
"Like all mythologies, there's a god of good and a god of evil. I didn't want to use it as a fantastic character, but it's hinted, every time the kids are in danger or something, I wanted to hint at the presence of the turtle. It might have a bigger role in the second one."
"In the book, they somehow address the turtle and say 'the turtle couldn't help us'," he said. "But I think in the second part, the turtle will try to help them.
"In the second movie, the turtle left a few clues to their childhood that they don't remember. They have to retrieve those memories from the summer of 1989, and that's how we jump back to 1989. The keys to defeating to Pennywise are left in the past, and as adults, they don't remember."
It sounds like Mike could be the key to this side of the story, according to Muschietti.
"He's not just the collector of knowledge of what Pennywise has been doing in Derry," the director told EW. "He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him. The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.
"It resonates with what the kids do when they go to the smokehouse in the Barrens," Muschietti says.
"By inhaling these fumes from the fire they have visions of It, and the origin of It, and the falling fire in the sky that crashed into Derry millions of years ago. We've brought that to Mike, by the end of those 30 years Mike has figured out the Ritual of Chüd."
(The Ritual of Chüd allows The Losers to enter a sort of state where they can see IT's original form, as well as Maturin.)
This solution sounds better...
It Chapter 2 release date: When it's coming back?
Not 27 years from now, fortunately, but right now no date is locked in.
Muschietti told Variety: "We'll probably have a script for the second part in January . Ideally, we would start prep in March," which would suggest a release date of 2019 or very possibly late 2018 if they're quick.
As Barbara Muschietti points out, they're both keen to get on with it before the kids get too old.
"The hope is we'll find the best way soon, because it's also important for Andy to get flashbacks with the kids, who are growing very fast. They are an important component in the next film."
It Chapter 2 trailer
This is a way off, naturally, but we'd expect at least a sneaky glimpse at some footage come next Halloween.