The first part of It was a huge success back in 2017, and the follow-up is due in cinemas this September. Bill Skarsgard will be back as the bone-chilling Pennywise, with the first trailer – unveiled last month – suggesting it’ll be every bit as unsettling as its predecessor. But trying to convert King’s novel for the cinema is not a task that writer Gary Dauberman has taken lightly.
Speaking to CinemaBlend, he opened up on the inevitability of moments being cut.
“There’s a lot of challenging things, but it really is an editing process of like… you know you’re not going to get all the f**king great scenes in there,” he mused.
“You know, they always say you have to kill your darlings. But it’s like, [they’re] not.
“They are my darlings, but I’m such a fan of the books and the scenes, and so it’s a challenge to sort of decide, ‘Okay, well I really like this, but I love that. Is there a way to get the two ideas in there and maybe put it somewhere else?’
“It’s one of those things where I tried to preserve as much as I can of the book, in the spirit of the book, and why it works.”
He added: “I mean, there’s books out there that have great concepts, but they’re not executed so well. So you’re like, ‘Well, I like the concept, but I’ll kind of just run with it.’
“Or it’s got a good first half, but the second half is not great, so you can depart from it. But these are not those, right? They work so well.
“There’s a reason they’ve been around as long as they have been. So you’re just working very hard to preserve as much as you can of it and give it the respect it deserves.”
The scribe said his big aim is to get King’s approval, saying: “At the end of the day, if he’s okay with it, then I’m okay with it. That’s kind of what I’m working towards.
“I’ve talked about keeping my head down and doing the work, and to not try to think about the pressure of when I read this for the first time, or all the fans and all that stuff.
“You just try to go, ‘Okay, this is a f**king great book. How can I make this a great movie?’”
It: Chapter 2 will reunite the young cast from the first film, such as Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer and Wyatt Oleff.
The respective adults playing their grown-up incarnations are James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone and Andy Bean.
Skarsgard has recently spoken about how he felt Pennywise was effectively haunting him after filming wrapped.
He told Entertainment Weekly: “I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams.
“Every night, he came and visited. It was in the shape of either me dealing with him, sort of Pennywise as a separate entity of me, and then also me as Pennywise in circumstances that I didn’t appreciate.
“Like, I’m Pennywise and I’m really upset that I’m out in public and people are looking at me.
“This was a process of letting go of the monster.”
It: Chapter 2 is out on September 6.