“My idea of Mike in the second movie is quite darker from the book,” the filmmaker said. “I want to make his character the one pivotal character who brings them all together, but staying in Derry took a toll with him. I want him to be a junkie actually. A librarian junkie. When the second movie starts, he’s a wreck.”
Muschietti said he wanted to “infuse more agency to him in those 30 years we don’t visit.”
“He’s not just the collector of knowledge of what Pennywise has been doing in Derry. He will bear the role of trying to figure out how to defeat him. The only way he can do that is to take drugs and alter his mind.”
Pennywise’s origin and weakness
“It resonates with what the kids do when they go to the smokehouse in the Barrens,” Andy Muschietti says. “By inhaling these fumes from the fire they have visions of It, and the origin of It, and the falling fire in the sky that crashed into Derry millions of years ago. We’ve brought that to Mike, by the end of those 30 years Mike has figured out the Ritual of Chüd.”
No, that’s not a reference to the 1984 schlock classic C.H.U.D., which stood for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.” King’s Ritual of Chüd is more of a Lovecraftian spell, an old-world mysticism that involves a duel of imagination between the shapeshifting trickster and the children (now adults) who want to end It once and for all.
But even as Hanlon sounds the alarm to his old friends that they must return, his addiction becomes just another demon he has to battle.
When the Losers return, he won’t be facing it alone.
“There is something in the future for him, taking his own life, that finds its seed in this film,” Andy Muschietti said. “He is the one who doesn’t want to accept what’s going on. And being the one who didn’t want to participate he gets the worst part.”
Those who’ve seen the movie know the part: deep in Derry’s sewer system, Stan separates from the group and comes face-to-uh-something with It in the form of the creepy woman from the painting in his father’s study.
When his friends finally find him, It has its comb-toothed jaws around his head and is sucking Stan’s face into its mouth. Although he survives, the memory and the traumatic stress he lives with makes him decide it’s a horror he can’t confront again.
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