Prior to the release of It: Chapter Two, director Andy Muschietti teased a multitude of cuts involving both films, particularly an extensive edit that combines both movies. Now, in a new interview with Consequence of Sound, the blockbuster filmmaker details what fans might expect to see in the near future and confirms at least one essential scene.
“We call it the supercut,” Muschietti explains. “It’s very early stage, you know, and we’re still discussing the format. It won’t be intertwined or anything like the way it’s in the book. But it will contain all the scenes that were deleted from both movies for pacing reasons, and we’ll hopefully have new material, which is stuff that I haven’t shot yet.”
On the subject of reshoots, he says, “Yes, but it’s under discussion. We’re just toiling with the idea with the studio, but we’re not there yet. But it would be great. Imagine having, in front of you, the two movies, seeing them as a whole, which is something that I never did — yet — and, you know, recalibrating things and saying, “Okay, you know what would be great? Seeing Richie flying in the Macroverse. Or whatever.”
Muschietti also confirms that an origin sequence of Pennywise the Dancing was shot and scrapped. “There’s a scene that we shot that’s in the 1600s,” he says. “I decided not to put it in the film because it was a little confusing. You know, the problem is that people sometimes want to know a little more, but if you give them too much, then they’re disappointed. It’s like a magic trick in a way.
“I think if you go back to the book, something similar happens, you know,” he continues. “Stephen King remains very cryptic about the other side, the origin of Pennywise, and he teases you with Robert Gray, and this, and that, and the turtle. And at the end, he opens the curtains, and shows you a lot about the other side, you know, the Macroverse? But I learned from that, that sometimes it’s better to keep things cryptic and generate mystery. It’s a balance… So yeah, that’s a scene that I love, but I will have to see how it can be re-orchestrated into the big cut if it happens.”
As for whether he thinks there’s enough in that origin for another chapter? “It’s too soon to tell,” he admits. “Of course, the universe and the cosmology of this story is so rich. Stephen King makes use of that mythology as a catalyst for the story of the Losers and Pennywise, and it really has outstanding events in the past that are so awesome. Like the story of Bob Gray. That’s a huge mystery there. Bob Gray, who was the clown, Bob Gray, who became Pennywise. Why? Why did It take this incarnation? How did it happen? There are a lot of questions there. It’s very intriguing to me.”
Also intriguing is one deleted scene involving Maturin the Turtle. The cosmic force plays a pivotal role in Stephen King’s 1986 novel, and while the turtle is referenced throughout both films, it never makes an actual appearance. However, that wasn’t always the case, and Muschietti describes a scene that involves James McAvoy’s Bill Denborough that was to be included at the end. It goes without saying, beware of spoilers.
“When you see McAvoy confronting his fear in the flooded basement,” Muschietti paints the picture, “and he kills the notion of guilt by killing himself as a kid, he jumps back in the water. He’s lost, there is no way out, and suddenly, the eyes of Pennywise — Pennywise Bill, the kid — come out of the dark. But it’s not Pennywise, it’s the turtle that is swimming by him. And he views the turtle and he’s sort of fascinated, like, ‘What is this thing?’, and very soon after, the kids are swimming after it. So, McAvoy follows them toward the light, and he emerges back in the cavern.”
“It’s a scene that’s connected to Chapter One,” he continues, “when you see the kids in the quarry, and they’re splashing around, and one of them says, ‘There’s something in the water.’ ‘What is it?’ ‘A turtle!’ And they all go into the water. So, this is a continuation of that scene. It’s a beautiful scene, but I had to leave it out over pacing reasons. It was very emotional, but it was not in the right moment, where things had to move faster.” When asked if it’ll go into the forthcoming supercut, he jokes back, “What do you think?”
As for why the scene was cut, Muschietti admits that he wanted to focus on “the human drama.” He argues, “I didn’t want to run the risk of making this a fantasy movie, so for me, that was always a question. How much of the other thing should we view? I didn’t wanna go the route of The Dark Tower, where the fantasy element is very, very present.”
Outside of the supercut, Muschietti is sticking around King’s Dominion. As previously reported, he’s attached to produce an adaptation of 1981’s Roadwork, and he’s still interested in bringing Skeleton Crew short story “The Jaunt” to the screen.
“Roadwork is definitely a more human drama,” Muschietti admits. “I always loved it. It’s not one of his biggest hits, but it always resonated and I can’t explain why. Like ‘The Jaunt’ stayed with me for years.” How did the project get going? “I’ve known Pablo Trapero since film school. His career went great. He’s done so many great movies. While speaking of things, the idea of Roadwork came up, and he showed a lot of interest in it.”
With regards to “The Jaunt”, he says, “It has been in development with Plan B for a few years. We tried to crack it and now we finally have a writer that can do it. I would love to. It’s tough to crack because it’s such a great short story, and then you have to expand it into a great film narrative. It took awhile, but now I think we got it. I don’t want to tell too much.”
The complete interview will be featured in this week’s episode of The Losers’ Club: A Stephen King Podcast, which airs every Friday at midnight EST. That episode will also include a spirited chat with composer Benjamin Wallfisch, who digs deep into both of his epic scores. In the meantime, stream their two-hour-plus review of the film featuring Vanity Fair writer/King scholar Anthony Breznican.