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New Line Cinema rung in this year's San Diego Comic-Con with its third annual "ScareDiego" event, which involved a brand-new trailer for It: Chapter Two (out in September) and never-before-seen clips ripped from the movie itself. Not only that, but director Andy Muschietti (Mama), along with the entire grown-up Losers' Club (aka the film's principal cast), was on hand to talk about the horror-centric project and answer a few questions from the audience as well as moderator Conan O'Brien. To lighten the mood of an otherwise dark tale, the late-night talk show host joked about his similarities to Pennywise the Dancing Clown, stating: "I’m very pale and I frighten children."
** Spoiler warning: Some key plot revelations below for those who haven't read the book. **
The panel kicked off with the debut of the new trailer above, which teased all kinds of really frightening and crucial scenes, including the tragic death of Adrian Mellon (Xavier Dolan) that both signifies the awakening of "It" and kicks off the story. Taking the stage right after the teaser ended, Muschietti and the cast — which includes James McAvoy (Bill Denbrough), Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh), and Bill Hader (Richie Tozier) — discussed the shooting of the film, whose set was made all the creepier by the totally committed performance of Bill Skarsgård (Castle Rock), who plays the eponymous Lovecraftian entity that terrifies and eats children.
"He’s very imposing in the costume... [When they call action, he's like] some other being," said Hader, who recounted a story about how Skarsgård once snuck up behind him while he was FaceTiming with his kids. “It’s like he was born to play Pennywise.”
“It’s kind of disturbing," echoed McAvoy (Glass), who researched survivor's guilt to best portray Bill's unresolved issues over his brother's death at the hands of Pennywise. Skarsgård was so convincing as the main antagonist that McAvoy admitted to having nightmares in which the otherworldly clown was very much present.
"There’s a lot of emotion. It really is about childhood trauma... [but] it also has a really beautiful story," continued Hader.
For the sequel, the graphic and skin-crawling elements were upped by a considerable degree. As we've reported before, the movie required lots and lots of fake blood that ended up coating Jessica Chastain's entire body. While Muschietti initially promised her that it would not touch her face, Chastain (Dark Phoenix) insisted that she be drenched in the stuff as a tribute to another famous Stephen King work.
"I love horror films, I love Carrie," she explained. "I said, 'Let’s make Carrie on steroids.'"
In addition, three clips were screened, and while Conan beseeched the audience (that included press) not to divulge any spoilers, we can say that the exclusive footage involved a tour-de-force comedic performance from Hader, really great onscreen chemistry between the lead actors, some unsettling (yet welcome) Pennywise action, and an out-of-this-world homage to an iconic horror classic from the early 1980s. If we said any more, we'd probably be sentenced to death by staring straight into the dreaded Deadlights. Sorry, folks, but to quote the Go-Go's, "Our lips are sealed."
Based on the seminal 1986 novel by Stephen King, It: Chapter Two picks up almost three decades after the events of the first movie. Now all grown up, the Losers' Club, making good on an oath they made as kids, must return to Derry, Maine, in order to try and finish off Pennywise once and for all. Andy Bean (Stan Uris), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanlon), and Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom) round out the ensemble cast as the rest of the adult Losers.
Written by Gary Dauberman, It: Chapter Two awakens in theaters everywhere Sep. 6. Maturin help us all!
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