It’s actually a good thing that IT: Chapter 2 didn’t become two movies and I’ll give my own reason in a moment. The good thing is that my own reasoning has a lot to do with what Ryan Scott of MovieWeb has revealed about the decision to make the sequel into one movie instead of two. It has to do with how much writing there is, how much content is left for the second movie, and just how much can be shaved off in an attempt to make a killer movie but keep it nice and tight so that nothing is lost while entertaining the audience. Those that have read the book will know and understand the significance of the scenes that they’re watching and will know where things are headed the moment a certain scene comes along. For those that haven’t read the book or even watched the 90s miniseries, it’s safe to say that a single turn in the wrong direction can cause mass confusion.
It’s easy to see how this can happen since IT hasn’t really followed the book one hundred percent but it’s come pretty darn close. Obviously it’s been updated to keep it closer to our own era and has been given a few boosts here and there to insure that it’s still relevant to those that were still kids a few decades ago. But making this movie into a trilogy quite honestly would have destroyed it. There’s already been flak from several individuals, including Scott Meslow from GQ, that think the longer running time is bound to kill it and make the movie produce far less in revenue than the first installment did. But what they seemed to fail to realize, or willfully ignore, is that by making it into a trilogy there would have been a LOT more information that would have been seen as quite tedious and possibly even capable of killing off the movie in a much bigger way. Look at it from this angle, the miniseries back in 1990 was only two parts, and it worked beautifully no matter that it had a rather lackluster ending. Had it continued to go on with another installment it’s likely that people would have lost interest and even looked for something else to keep their attention.
This is the sad part about the attention span of many viewers, it takes something far shorter and insanely shocking to get them to pay attention. Game of Thrones is a good example since in any episode where there wasn’t a shocking death or reveal the viewership tended to drop a bit. People like a tragedy and they enjoy getting it all at once so that they don’t have to wait, and wait, and wait for the final shock to be revealed. This even happened with The Stand miniseries that was divided into four parts since the book is well over a thousand pages long. People were insanely excited to see this movie come out on TV, but after the second installment attention was starting to wane a bit and by the last part of the series it was kind of like ‘this is it?’. Even the epic finale was a big letdown when honestly a lot of people were hoping that Flagg would get his ass handed to him in a big way. But sadly this is one of Stephen King’s biggest slips in a lot of stories. He builds up an epic tale with tension that mounts throughout the entire story…only to drop you at the end with something that feels as though it was written in a hurried fashion so that he could be done with it and move on. I happen to love King stories and always hope he’ll break out of that funk, but it’s continued thus far with many other novels and it would appear that even his son Owen has gotten in on the act with Sleeping Beauties, which is rumored to be up for the movie treatment eventually.
So no, making IT: Chapter two into two movies wouldn’t have been a good idea in my opinion since honestly this movie needed to be kept to two parts just as it was on TV. The amount of information that had to be pared down so as to keep with the core idea didn’t make it easy obviously, but so far it would seem that it’s kept the attention of the people and has even spared them at times from the more controversial aspects of the book, such as the love/sex scene in the sewers of Derry that occurs in King’s original story. It’s funny how people think a movie like Call Me By Your Name is high art and beautiful but nowhere near as controversial as teens in a sexual scene that was actually written in as a part of the story, but then again that’s neither here nor there since I too am kind of glad the scene was kept out.
It’s amusing at times how hypocrisy works in Hollywood, especially when people want to see the story in its entirety but aren’t willing to admit that they would find it less interesting.