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‘IT’ Writer Returning for ‘Part Two,’ Likely Hitting Theaters in 2019

New Line
New Line

Before the latest adaptation of Stephen King’s IT even hit theaters, early box office predictions suggested anywhere from a $60 to $70 million opening. By contrast, this year’s other big King adaptation, The Dark Tower, has grossed $47.9 million domestic in the month since its release. While we wait for the initial box office numbers to roll in, New Line is already developing a sequel to IT, but it probably won’t hit theaters until 2019.

Per THR, New Line has set screenwriter Gary Dauberman to return for IT: Part Two, and although his is the only formal deal at the moment, director Andy Muschietti is also expected to return. Dauberman, whose other credits include the Annabelle movies, received co-writing credit for reworking Cary Fukunaga and Chase Palmer’s script for IT.

Dauberman is already working on the screenplay for Part Two, which follows the cast almost 30 years later when they reunite as adults and return to their hometown to confront Pennywise again. The sequel may include flashback scenes that would require the young cast of the first film to return. Locking all of them in — as well as a cast of their adult counterparts — could be tricky (and somewhat costly). But the reception to IT has been largely positive thus far, with the film currently sitting at 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the opening weekend box office expected to more than justify the sequel.

Muschietti has already publicly expressed his commitment to complete the two-film series, so it probably won’t be long before New Line officially announces his return. In the meantime, he has plenty of work on his plate: Muschietti stepped in to replace Scott Derrickson as showrunner on Locke & Key, Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Joe Hill’s graphic novel series. (Hill, by the way, is Stephen King’s son.) The director is also being eyed by Paramount for Dracul, the first prequel authorized by Bram Stoker’s estate and written by the author’s great-grand nephew, Dacre Stoker.

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