The Losers’ Club are back in new Stephen King adaptation IT Chapter Two, which catches up with the small-town heroes 27 years after they first faced off with the terrifying shape-shifting monster cutting a swathe through their hometown of Derry, Maine.
Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader among others as the older version of the 2017 film’s lead characters, Chapter 2 expands on the original movie’s action for a final confrontation with the titular monster It, also known by its most common form Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård).
But how does the movie end? Is there room for a third chapter, or is Warner Bros closing the book on Pennywise for good?
We’ve dissected the film’s ending and sequel possibilities below, but beware – we’re delving into spoiler territory here, and even if you’ve read the book there are a few changes that you might not want to read about too early.
In other words, if you haven’t seen IT Chapter 2 yet, look away…
How did the Losers Club kill It/Pennywise?
After being tormented by the shapeshifting monster throughout the movie, in the end our heroes manage to collect their individual “artefacts” (random possessions they’d left behind in Derry with significance to their earlier clash with him), ready to burn in the special Ritual of Chud discovered by Mike (Isiah Mustafa).
Unfortunately, the ritual doesn’t work – but the gang realise that Pennywise/It changes form depending on their perception of him, and that in certain forms – including a leper he’d used to scare Eddie (James Ransome) – he’s weaker and able to be killed.
Accordingly, the gang force Pennywise to become small and weak, after which they’re able to remove his still-beating heart and crush it in their hands, finally ending his reign of terror. After his death, Pennywise begins disintegrating and his underground lair collapses as well, forcing the Losers to escape – but they’re forced to leave behind Eddie, who was mortally wounded by It earlier in the battle and died.
At the end of the film, the characters go their separate ways, leave Derry behind again and finally find some peace with the evil defeated.
But is Pennywise really dead?
After a couple of failed attempts, Pennywise/It’s end in the film seems pretty final, with the deadly clown and his lair disintegrating in the film’s conclusion and the Losers’ Club finally able to go their separate ways with their memories intact.
But could Pennywise have secretly survived? Well, the film doesn’t seem to suggest this is a possibility – but author Stephen King, whose classic horror novel was adapted to form both IT movies, has occasionally hinted that the supernatural being may have lingered after the Losers’ Club’s final victory.
In his 1988 novel The Tommyknockers, set three years after the events of IT, a character visits Derry and thinks he sees a “clown with shiny silver-dollar eyes” watching him from the sewers, while another character hallucinated red balloons (Pennywise’s trademark) coming from the sewers during his own visit.
More intriguingly, in King’s 2001 novel Dreamcatcher, a statue dedicated to victims of a Derry flood (and It/Pennywise) has been defaced with graffiti reading “PENNYWISE LIVES.” So does this mean that King (and, by extension, this movie franchise) isn’t done with the killer clown after all?
Will there be any more IT sequels?
Assuming Pennywise is dead, probably not – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a prequel movie, especially considering Pennywise/It has been terrorising Derry every 30 years or so for centuries before we first see him onscreen.
“This is the conclusion of the book, so there is no part three. This is the end of the journey of the Losers against Pennywise,” director Andy Muschietti told CinePOP.
“But, as we all know the mythology is very rich, and in Stephen King’s book Pennywise has been around for a million years, he’s been in contact with humans for at least five hundred years, and he comes back every 27 years.
“So, if you go back and back and back and back, you’ll see a lot of drama.”
Muschietti went on to say that he would consider directing a Pennywise prequel “eventually,” so the door’s definitely open for the dancing clown to return.
IT Chapter 2 is in cinemas now