Pennywise from Stephen King's 'It'

Stephen King’s ‘It’: Part 2 Title Leak Suggests Major Plot Themes For The Films

Just recently, an unverified online leak has given us information about the name and release date of the second part of Stephen King’s It adaptation. If true, the leak’s implications reveal themes that might be very important to the plots of both films.

As basically everyone not living under a rock knows by now, a big-budget film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel It is currently in post-production under the direction of Andres Muschietti and will release this February. The adaptation will not cover Stephen King’s entire 1,100-page book, however; instead, it will tackle the exploits of the Losers’ Club (the self-appointed name used to refer to the novel’s seven protagonists) as children. A second part that will serve as a sequel to the film will be released afterward, and it will focus on the sections of Stephen King’s horror fiction masterpiece that looked at the characters as adults.

A poster for the 2017 'It' film with Pennywise and the Losers Club on bikes
A fan-made poster for the upcoming film. [Image by Smalltownhero/Deviant Art]

Although part two of Stephen King’s It adaptation is confirmed to be happening, very little about it has been revealed. Horror authority Bloody Disgusting claims Part 2 will begin shooting this summer. Cinema Runner even claims the casting decisions for the adult members of the Losers’ Club will be announced sometime this month, something that would undoubtedly thrill Stephen King fans across the internet. Still, though, that is only speculation.

The fact that Part 2 is still such an unknown makes it even more exciting that a leak revealing a subtitle and a release date for the movie has appeared on the “list of adaptations of works by Stephen King” page of Wikipedia. The page lists every major Stephen King adaptation to both film and TV, beginning with the 1976 film of Carrie and ending with the ones that are already confirmed but are not yet released.

One of the adaptations slated for release is It, Part 1: The Losers Club. That’s obviously the film coming out on September 8, and the page states that particular project is in post-production. Another of the entries is It, Part 2: Pennywise. The page says the project is “in development” and will be released in 2018.

A natural first reaction is to shrug off the full names listed for the movies as either flat-out lies or just working titles. What significance would part two being referred to as It: Pennywise even have? Pennywise is the main antagonist of both films!

And if you are thinking the subtitle for each part is just a placeholder name used by those involved with the production to differentiate between the two projects, you’re probably right. After all, never in the massive marketing campaign we’re already seeing for Part 1 has the movie been referred to as It: The Losers Club.

Nevertheless, the fact that Part 1 is referred to as “The Losers Club” and Part 2 as “Pennywise,” even if those names will not be included in the final titles, is extremely significant because of what it says about the themes of the movies.

One of the reasons Stephen King’s novel was (and still is) so well-received is because it spends a good amount of time getting to know its characters before it starts piling on the scares. That is not to say the first part of the book is not scary — Stephen King does a great job of never letting the tension slacken too much. It is undeniable, though, that rich character development, especially in regards to the Losers Club, is first laid as a groundwork for the story.

The immense care Stephen King put into character-building was largely taken out for the iconic 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of It, and the story suffered because of it. The first part of the upcoming movie version being subtitled “The Losers Club” suggests that it might be more focused on the characters of the seven protagonists, just like the first part of Stephen King’s book was.

Likewise, Part 2’s tentative subtitle — “Pennywise” — suggests that it will shift the spotlight from the main protagonists to the antagonist, Pennywise the Clown. In other words, it will probably be more of a scare-fest and less of a character study than the first film.

Just that in itself is bound to be great news for Stephen King fans, as it means the two-part movie will be sticking even more closely to the tone of King’s book.

The note that Part 2 is due out in 2018 will undoubtedly be pleasing too, as it means we will probably be hearing more definitive information about the “sequel” sooner rather than later.

Which brings us back to Cinema Run‘s claim that casting for the adult Losers will be announced this month. Who would you like to see in each of the iconic roles?

[Featured Image by Emortal982/Deviant Art]

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