Two years ago, director Andrés Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, scaring up a record $700.4 million in global ticket sales.
This September, the Losers Club returns to Derry for “It Chapter Two,” with Muschietti returning to direct and a star-studded cast including James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader taking over as the kids’ adult counterparts.
The film’s cast and crew assembled Wednesday night at Comic-Con for Warner Bros.’ annual ScareDiego panel to offer a first-look trailer (which debuted online Thursday morning) and exclusive clips from the upcoming film. Cast members James Ransone, Jay Ryan, Andy Bean and Isaiah Mustafa rounded out the panelists, with Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard notably absent.
Moderated by Conan O’Brien, the conversation revolved around scares, Stephen King and picking up on the heels of 2017’s “It.” Three clips were shown from throughout the film including two showdowns with Pennywise and the Losers’ initial reunion after 27 years of separation.
Chastain said about 4,500 gallons of fake blood were used in the film, much of which was used in a scene that forced her to be covered head to toe in it, which she called “‘Carrie’ on steroids.”
Because the fake blood contained sugar, it had to be poured on her cold to avoid creating a smell. Despite the discomfort, Chastain’s wasn’t the worst on-set experience. McAvoy revealed that he tore both quads and suffered tendinitis for six months thanks to Muschietti’s determination to shoot multiple takes.
“‘It’s perfect, let’s do it again!’” he mocked the director. “You can never ever get it better. But let’s do it again!”
Though the “Chapter Two” cast didn’t have much occasion to interact with their younger counterparts onscreen, the younger actors gave them letters and framed photographs of themselves to help with continuity. But mostly the actors just rewatched the 2017 original for insight into how to play the characters. “You get to rob that young instinctual actor of all their good,” said McAvoy.
Bean, who plays an older version of Wyatt Oleff’s character, Stanley, recalled his first meeting with the younger actor. “‘Yeah, yeah, I wanted Joseph Gordon Levitt,” he was told unabashedly.
The cast also spoke at length about Skarsgard, including his ability to stare straight ahead with one eye while rotating the other around in its socket. “He can ... do that!” said Hader. “He was born to play Pennywise.”
In fact, Skarsgard played the role so convincingly that McAvoy said he had nightmares about Pennywise after shooting, including one where the two were in bed with the murderous clown stroking his back.