Comic-Con 2019 kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday night and the grown-up cast of IT Chapter 2, including Jessica Chastain, Isaiah Mustafa, Andy Bean, James Ransone, Bill Hader, James McAvoy, Jay Ryan and director Andy Muschietti were there to discuss the upcoming sequel with moderator Conan O’Brien. Prepare for Carrie on steroids.
The upcoming sequel to the 2017 film based on the Stephen King novel, which currently holds the position as the highest grossing horror film of all time (apologies to clowns everywhere who are just trying to make a living at children’s birthday parties), is set 27 years in the future. The kids of the Losers Club are all now adults and they;re heading back to Derry, Maine, to have one final confrontation with Bill Skarsgard’s brilliantly terrifying Pennywise. Apologies to clowns and rain gutters.
At Wednesday’s panel, Muschietti said the first film “is a movie about friendship and the power of unity,” adding “the second part is about trauma.” Some of the trauma was experienced by Chastain, who told the San Diego crowd that she spent most of the film covered in fake blood. Muschietti told Chastain she only needed to be in blood to her collarbone, but she opted to be completely covered. “I was like, ‘No, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it. I love horror films, I love Carrie, and I said, ‘Let’s make Carrie on steroids,” Chastain said. “And that’s what we did, and it literally tortured me because I didn’t realize that it would be that way the whole movie.”
Chastain’s co-star James McAvoy added that the fake blood used on movie sets is made with sugar, which means “if you heat it up, it ferments and goes putrid and it smells like puke.” Someone get this woman an Oscar.
Giving attendees the first mic drop moment of the star-studded festival, Chastain revealed why she was excited to be part of IT Chapter 2. “In horror films, they really honour women. Women defeat the monsters at the end. Usually, the men die!”
Showcasing her range at the panel, Chastain delighted fans with a few lines from the Patience & Prudence song “Tonight You Belong To Me.” We’re not worthy.
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Although Pennywise himself wasn’t at the panel, Conan O’Brien teased that he was asked to moderate the panel because of his likeness to the red-haired clown. The real actor behind the monster, Skarsgard, wasn’t in attendance but his co-stars quickly sung his praises. SNL alum Bill Hader told the audience that Skarsgard loved to photobomb him on-set when in full costume and makeup as Pennywise, including anytime Hader was FaceTiming his kids. “Bill came up behind me,” Hader said, “and my daughter went, ‘What was that?!'”
McAvoy admitted that spending all day on the IT Chapter 2 set began to affect his dreams, with Pennywise making frequent cameos in his nightmares. “The only one I can remember was I’m lying on my side in bed and he was in bed with me. He stroked my back and then said, ‘Wake up, James, wake up.’ I was just terrified and I thought, ‘I’ve got to pretend to be asleep,'”McAvoy shared . “We’ve all been there.”
As with Comic-Con tradition, those in attendance got a sneak peek at scenes from the film, with the audience treated to a new trailer, though we had to wait until today to see it.
Three scenes from the upcoming horror flick were also screened, including the groups’ reunion at a Chinese restaurant, McAvoy’s Bill running through a fun house to rescue a child from Pennywise, and the Losers Club confronting the demented clown.
IT Chapter 2 opens in theatres September 6.