VARIETY – The new reboot of Stephen King’s “It” hasn’t even opened in theaters, but director Andy Muschietti is already planning for the next installment. The sequel is a near-certainty since King’s book switches off between two storylines, and it’s already known that the film that opens Friday focuses more on the child characters.
Though it has always been planned as a two-part story, Warner Bros. isn’t emphasizing the two movies in marketing materials. Perhaps the studio learned from “The Dark Tower,” which was planned as a movie, TV series and more, but fizzled after the first film disappointed.
However, the movie itself leaves plenty of room for a sequel, not to mention the fact that the title card at the end of the film (MILD SPOILER ALERT) reads “It: Chapter One.”
The novel “It” follows a group of children known as “the Losers Club” as they battle the evil force known as Pennywise, then follows up with another battle with the creature 30 years later. While the 1990 miniseries adaptation directly follows the plot of King’s novel, including interdimensional travel (Carey Fukunaga’s original script for the reboot reportedly included a dimension portal), Muschietti’s version is much more grounded and does away with the weird otherworldliness…at least for now.
Muschietti told Variety that he doesn’t think of the next film as a sequel, more like the second half of a single story and that’s he’s prepared to helm this project as well.
“I really wanted to focus on the emotional journey of the group of kids. Getting in to that other dimension — the other side — was something that we could introduce in the second part,” Muschietti said in an interview with Yahoo Movies. “In the book the perspective of the writing… is always with the Losers, so everything they know about Pennywise is very speculative and shrouded in absurdity, so I wanted to respect that mystery feeling of not knowing what’s on the other side.”
“It” is expected to break the record for biggest opening weekend of a non-sequel, R-rated horror film, currently held by “The Conjuring,” which debuted to $41 million in 2013.
“It” opens in theaters Sept. 8.
The ‘It’ star will voice Moomintroll in ‘Moomins and the Winter Wonderland’ that features top Swedish talent, including his father Stellan.
Bill Skarsgard is swapping Pennywise for a role that’s definitely more child-friendly after signing up for Moomins and the Winter Wonderland.
The Swedish actor, who has a starring role as the killer clown in Warner Bros.’ upcoming film It, will voice the protagonist Moomintroll in the animated movie. Skarsgard is the latest in what is becoming an all-star Swedish voice cast that includes Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander and his father Stellan.
“So excited to be a part of this lovely project and bringing Tove Jansson’s fantastical world to the big screen. I grew up with my mom and dad reading Moomin and their adventures to me at bedtime, so it will not be the first time I hear my dad voice Moominpappa,” said Skarsgard.
The Moomins were created by the Finnish writer Tove Jansson in a series of books and comic strips, originally published in Swedish in the 1940s. The iconic fairy tale characters have garnered a global following thanks to translations, along with several television and film adaptations as well as a theme park called Moomin World in Naantali, Finland.
Finish film company Filmkompaniet and Polish animation studio Animoon are co-producing the new project. Los Angeles-based production, distribution and IP management company Global Genesis Group is handling international distribution and sales.
Based on Jansson’s original books, with a screenplay from Małgorzata Więckowicz-Zyla, Piotr Szczepanowicz and Ira Carpelan, Moomins and the Winter Wonderland will be created from existing, vintage footage from original stop-motion Moomins productions co-produced by Jupiter Film and Film Polski in the 1980s.
When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
In Theaters September 8
Exciting news! Bill has joined the upcoming Stephen King Hulu Series, Castle Rock.
Bill Skarsgård has been cast as a series regular in Hulu’s Stephen King series “Castle Rock,” Variety has learned.
The project marks the second King project for Skarsgård, who will star in the film adaptation of King’s classic novel, “It,” as the iconic terrorizing clown, Pennywise.
In “Castle Rock,” Skarsgård will play a young man with an unusual legal problem. He joins a cast that includes Sissy Spacek, André Holland, Jane Levy and Melanie Lynskey.
“Castle Rock” is described as a psychological-horror drama set in the Stephen King multiverse that combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, has served as the setting for many of King’s books, including “Cujo,” “The Dead Zone,” and “The Body.” The series landed a 10-episode order.
Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason are writers on the series and will serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer. Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television are behind the series.
Skarsgård is on the rise. Aside from gearing up for his biggest role to date with “It,” which hits theaters this September, the Swedish actor starred in Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove” and is also known from the “Divergent” franchise. He is repped by WME.
Production on “Castle Rock” begins this year. No premiere date has been set, though the series is expected to debut in 2018.