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IT Sequel Will Explore the Weird Interdimensional Pennywise Stuff

By most early accounts, the new feature adaptation of Stephen King‘s horror novel masterpiece It is exactly as scary and upsetting as a demonic clown menacing children ought to be. Director Andy Muschietti, the children cast, and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise have been garnering great reviews thus far, and that means the second part is almost assuredly going to happen. And according to Skarsgård in an interview with Metro UK, the sequel will delve into the secret origin of Pennywise, and that’s going to color a lot of what happens.

Most people who are fans of the book and the 1990 TV miniseries (i.e., not a movie, so the new flick isn’t a remake. Point of order.) recognize that the first half—focusing on the main characters as children—is much more compelling than the second half when they’re adults. Perhaps this is why the makers of the film have chosen to hone in on Pennywise himself/ITself to add some much needed depth.

Says Skarsgård, “We’re in the early stages and I’m talking to Andy about it and figuring out what It will be… It’s a different story, but I’m excited to delve in deeper to the character as there’s more exploration for who Pennywise is…And I think that’s what I wanted and that’s where I want to go for the second one, to delve into the psychological and metaphysical spaces of this transdimensional being.”

For those who don’t know–if you haven’t read King’s gargantuan novel and then several other subsequent novels–Pennywise/It is an ancient, almost Lovecraftian elder god as part of the “Macroverse,” a sort of formless void that surrounds and includes the universe. King later established the Macroverse as the Todash Darkness in The Dark Tower. It appears later in the book as a giant spider (though that’s not even its true form, that’s just the closest form our pitiful human minds can comprehend). And though there are references to a Turtle in the movie, “The Turtle” (also known as Maturin), is It’s opposite, the giant turtle on whose back the universe rests and which represents true good.

Naturally, that’s stuff that makes for a great book, but doesn’t necessarily translate into a movie. Director Muscietti explained in an interview with Yahoo that he wanted to keep something for the sequel. “In the book the perspective of the writing, the perspective is always with the Losers,” he said. “So everything they know about Pennywise is very speculative and shrouded in absurdity, so I wanted to respect that mystery feeling of not knowing what’s on the other side. I also wanted to leave something for the second half, so I didn’t want to get in trouble with that – going into the macroverse or that transdimensional stuff – and keep it grounded, from the point of view of the kids. There’s another movie to expand into that.”

While I definitely don’t think every villain needs their origins directly spelled out on screen, it worked with the sequel to Hellraiserwhich detailed the origins of Pinhead Lead Cenobite—and it actually made him much more scary going forward. So, an ancient transdimensional being that currently looks like a clown would certainly be worth a deeper dive.

What do you think about seeing Pennywise when he was Pennynaive? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: New Line

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist and the host of the horror documentary series One Good Scare. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

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