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Will There Be An It: Chapter 3 Movie?

It: Chapter One scared the pants off of audiences when it debuted in 2017, becoming the highest-grossing horror movie of all time and leaving fans hungry for more. The flick adapted portions of Stephen King's masterful 1986 novel It, in which a group of outcast children who dub themselves the Losers' Club are forced to do battle with an ancient, shape-shifting evil — one that appears most often in the guise of Pennywise, the Dancing Clown — which awakens from its slumber every 27 years to sow violence and discord in their small town of Derry, Maine. Also, to eat children. Hey, even timeless, malevolent entities have to eat.

The kids severely wound It and drive it back into hibernation — but they fail to finish the job, and when It awakens nearly three decades later, the Losers are compelled to return to Derry to take It on once more as adults. While King's novel skipped back and forth between the two time periods, It: Chapter One focused on the Losers' youthful encounter with Pennywise in the '80s (ported over from the '50s setting of the novel), with Chapter Two focusing on their battle with the beast in the present day.

It: Chapter Two is keeping pace with its predecessor at the box office — and, as you may be aware, movies are made in Hollywood, where money talks. Considering that the two films will likely combine for a worldwide box office take in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion dollars, and that the second installment is pretty much just as awesome as the first, observers have begun to wonder: will there be an It: Chapter Three?

It: Chapter Three doesn't seem likely

Well, on its surface, the question is one which could easily be met with a resounding "no way." Please be aware that we'll be discussing plot points both from King's novel and the films, and as such, major spoilers for It: Chapter Two follow.

In the book as in It: Chapter Two, the Losers decisively win the final battle — but it is not without cost. Stan Uris (portrayed by Wyatt Oleff in the first movie, and Andy Bean in the second) opts not to join the fight, responding to the call to return to Derry by promptly committing suicide. Eddie Kaspbrak (played by Jack Dylan Grazer as a child, and by James Ransone as an adult) loses his life in the final fight with Pennywise, but improbably, the adult Losers are able to finish It off (prevailing in an ancient, mystical contest known as the Ritual of Chüd) and end Its threat once and for all.

Once they do, it becomes clear just to what extent Derry had been under Its sway; an incredibly violent storm descends upon the town, and the little burg essentially just collapses. No more It, practically no more Derry, end of story.

Now, while both of the It movies were reasonably faithful to the source material, they weren't completely so. There were several set pieces (such as Stan's run-in with It in the form of that insanely creepy-looking lady from the painting in the first flick, or Bill's hall of mirrors nightmare in the second) that were original to the movies, par for the course for cinematic adaptations. The filmmakers' choice not to end the story with the city-destroying storm that concluded the novel might just be another aesthetic choice — but it might also be a bit telling.

It: Chapter Three could still be pulled off

Given the first movie's stellar success, the filmmakers may even have been given a mandate by studio New Line to leave the door open for a third installment; if this is the case, though, Muschietti isn't saying. In the wake of the first flick's success, the director admitted that there was some talk of telling the story within the format of a trilogy, but that New Line's brass ultimately decided against it. (via Express)

However, nothing motivates studio executives like big bucks, and if New Line and the filmmakers wanted to explore the idea of a third chapter, there are a number of different tacks they could take. One of these would be to use secondary characters to explore the fate of Derry after the demise of Pennywise, particularly since Muschietti and company choose to forgo the plot element of the apocalyptic storm. The story has no shortage of villains: there's Henry Bowers, the former bully and current inmate at a mental institution who tormented the Losers in their youth (and who Pennywise enlists to come after them again as adults); Tom Rogan, Beverly's abusive husband, who in the novel pursues her all the way to Derry when she leaves him after a violent altercation; and Patrick Hockstetter, the sociopathic teenager and friend of Bowers who apparently met his demise in the first movie (but we know how that can go).

Any one of these characters could be used to further explore Derry and its legacy of evil — perhaps becoming a Pennywise copycat killer, or stumbling across some weird ritual which could potentially resurrect It.

Failing that, a third chapter could simply focus on Derry through the lens of its citizens, many of whom must have come under Its malignant influence in years past. Heck, we feel like this is actually an idea worth considering, one which would allow the filmmakers to come up with their own original characters and story while honoring the legacy of Stephen King's novel. Even if it were determined that the concept wouldn't make the grade as a feature film, it might still work splendidly as a TV series along the lines of Hulu's Castle Rock (which, incidentally, features Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgård in an unrelated role).

What has Bill Skarsgård said about It: Chapter Three?

Speaking of Skarsgård, the actor has indicated that he and Muschietti have kicked around an idea for a third It movie which would likely fit into one of the above scenarios. In a recent sitdown with JoBlo.com, the actor opened up about discussions he'd had with the director about adding a new chapter, so to speak, to King's novel.

"Andy and I have discussed ideas for what a third movie would look like. I don't think it's quite what people expect. It's something different. The first two stories are the book, and the second film is the end of that story. So we would do something quite literally off book," the actor said. "There are a few ideas floating around. I feel like I've done what I can with the incarnation of Pennywise as we know of him, so I think it would be a cool idea to change up a few things. So, without going into too much detail, there is a story that we're kind of excited about, but it's way too early to say. But we'll see, we'll see."

The idea of a new "incarnation" of Pennywise is certainly an intriguing one, although it's safe to say that there are about a billion ways to get that concept wrong. But obviously, any new addendum to King's masterpiece is going to require a deft touch, and Muschietti demonstrated just that in bringing It successfully to the big screen in the first place. 

We could get an It supercut instead

Even if none of these things come to fruition, there's always the distinct possibility that It could return to theaters not through a proper sequel, but through a supercut of the first two films. Unlike the rest of the possibilities we've suggested, this has actually been discussed by none other than Muschietti himself — and if it were to happen, it would include new scenes not featured in the movies' theatrical cuts, and not just ones that were left on the cutting room floor.

In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, the director said, "I am thinking of a supercut. Which is basically the two movies told one after the other, adding everything that was lifted from them for length purposes. Great scenes that are more character moments, or things that we had to lift for other reasons. I'm also very excited about shooting extra material."

Well, that is darned exciting — as long as get an intermission or two, because such a supercut would sport a gargantuan run time. Considering that Muschietti has put this idea out in the public sphere, we're thinking that this might actually happen... but as to whether we'll ever see It: Chapter Three, we're of the opinion that the likelihood is very slim. All things considered, this is probably for the best; the novel spins an epic, incredibly detailed, phenomenally terrifying yarn, and expanding it beyond its already massive scope would almost certainly be doing it a disservice.