After seeing screenwriter Gary Dauberman’s abysmal The Nun last weekend, we’ve become a bit fearful of what the writer’s cooked up for It: Chapter Two (yes, he worked on the solid first installment, he also had Cary Fukunaga’s script as a base). What is promising, however, is that his sequel is tackling some crucial bits from the book that the 1990 miniseries didn’t, such as the death of Adrian Mellon, Derry’s Paul Bunyan statue, and, apparently, the bizarre Ritual of Chüd. The, um, “love-making” scene, thankfully, is remaining offscreen.
[Spoilers for It: Chapter Two to follow.]
In a new interview with CinemaBlend, Dauberman confirmed that the ritual, which plays a big role in the book’s climax, will make an appearance in the film. “The Ritual of Chüd is challenging, but it’s such an important component to the book that we had to address it,” he said. “That stuff is difficult to balance, but because [director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and I] worked with each other before, when I’m writing pages and all that stuff it becomes more of a conversation and less like, ‘Hey, here’s what I did.’ It’s sort of organic; it’s really kind of just chipping away at the stone and trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of more metaphysical aspects of that book.”
He elaborated on this collaborative style more, noting that Muschietti’s visual ideas for the ritual impacted how it manifested on the page. “[A]s I was kind of chugging along through the Adrian Melon stuff and sort of more the stuff that’s in the book that you kind of just want to see on screen. I’m writing that stuff, and Andy would kind of go off and think about Chüd and how he wants to visually represent all that stuff. He just came up with some brilliant, brilliant stuff… It really is going to be amazing.”
The ritual goes something like this in the book: Pennywise and a member of the Losers’ Club extend their tongues, overlap them, bite down, and then trade jokes until one party laughs. It’s weird, thrilling, and very, very hard to visualize, so kudos to the team for making an effort to manifest it. Couple this with Muscietti’s previous comments on how he plans to incorporate the mystical Maturin the turtle—a good-intentioned spiritual guide of sorts—and it’s very likely that Chapter Two could be unlike any studio horror film we’ve seen before. It also, unfortunately, could easily come across as cheesy as the miniseries’ climactic battle, so we’re approaching with caution.
In the meantime, be sure to tune in to Consequence of Sound‘s very own The Losers’ Club: A Stephen King Podcast, which is gearing up for a five-part series on the It novel.
It: Chapter Two hits theaters on September 6th, 2019.