2019 is looking to be the year we reclaim our attention spans. Quentin Tarantino’s latest Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood clocks in at nice 161 minutes, and the film was the director’s most-successful opening weekend across a 27 year career. And let’s not forget the little movie that could, Avengers: Endgame, whose 181 minutes flew by for audiences, which, one could say, were considerably vast. That in mind, it’s time for Pennywise to chew the child–I mean scenery.
Speaking with Digital Spy, IT Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti and producing partner Barbara Muschietti sat down to dish some hard facts on the upcoming conclusory half of the terrifying-clown saga. Clocking in at two hours and 45 minutes (or 165 minutes, if I want to stay consistent), Muschietti was candid about the risks of a lengthy film.
On editing the second entry, Muschietti spoke a bit about finding a satisfying and grandiose cut while still making things manageable for mainstream audiences.
“…when you have the movie finally edited and it’s 4 hours long, you realise that some of the events and some of the beats can be easily lifted but the essence of the story remains intact. You cannot deliver a 4-hour movie because people will start to feel uncomfortable – no matter what they see – but we ended up having a movie that is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the pacing is very good. Nobody who’s seen the movie has had any complaint.”
It makes some sense. Stephen King’s original novel is a tome in itself, with well over a thousand pages regardless of the edition you’re reading. 2017’s first half of the story clocked in at 135 minutes, while the 1990 ABC miniseries adaptation was a cumulative 192 minutes. A big story demands a big runtime, and if the quality of Muschietti’s first film is any indication, the time prodding the dark corners of Derry will be well spent.
Barbara Muschietti chimed in regarding an extended cut of the sequel, mentioning some “amazing scenes that didn’t make it into the movie.” Things sound definitive when she says the studio “will put out a director’s cut because this time it definitely merits it,” though we have a lot of ground to cover between now and a post-theatrical release.
And we should still look forward to that theatrical cut nonetheless. Concern was raised over whether any of Chapter Two‘s content was cut for its extreme nature, but the director was quick to dispel any worries. “Oh, no, everything that is too scary is in the movie.”
Well that’s a relief (?). IT Chapter Two opens September 6, 2019.