In 1990, Tommy Lee Wallace wrote and directed a miniseries adaptation of It, which he divided into two feature-length chapters, one set in the ’50s with a cast of children and one set in the present. Played by Tim Curry, the clown left a nightmarish impression on the minds of all children who saw him. In order to do justice to the length and density of the novel, the miniseries runs for around 192 minutes.
Fast forward to 2017, and director Andy Muschietti — working from a screenplay by Chase Palmer, Gary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman — has re-adapted It, this time as two feature films. Forked like the miniseries, the first “It” took place in the past with the protagonists as children, only now time-shifted to the late 1980s. Written by Nur Dauberman, It Chapter Two was released in 2019 and is set in the present day with a new adult cast. Not to be outdone, “It Chapter Two” also included extended flashbacks starring the same young actors from the first chapter. The two “It” feature films totaled 304 minutes.
While the story ended at the end of It Chapter Two and the clown Demon (played by Bill Skarsgård) was once again outmatched by the bravery and ingenuity of the characters, much remained unexplored. For one, the turtle god was not addressed. Second, the kids from the 2017 film did a lot of research on Pennywise’s past themselves and found creepy old photos and film reels where Pennywise first took on the form of a clown. This implied a much broader backstory for Pennywise, likely full of horrific episodes of people being tormented and eaten throughout Derry’s dark history.
The “It” movies had many fans, and some wondered if Pennywise’s unaddressed story would grace the big screen again. In an interview with Gizmodo, director Andy Muschietti put a stop to such rumors, stating quite categorically that it wouldn’t happen.