Photo: Warner Bros.

On the eve of It’s massively hyped debut (you can read our review here), the call has come—presumably from Maine, in the dead of night—to move forward with “Part Two” of the film. As The Hollywood Reporter puts it, Gary Dauberman, one of three screenwriters on It, has “quietly closed a deal” to write the second part of the story. (Dauberman, who was brought in to retool the script after the departure of Cary Fukunaga from the project, is on a winning horror streak, having also written this summer’s surprisingly well received Annabelle: Creation.) Director Andy Muschietti, meanwhile, does not yet have a deal in place, but is eager to return as well.

Given that Stephen King’s massive novel cuts back and forth between past and present, and the It currently creeping into theaters deals solely with the past, the idea of a sequel was never really in question. And it’s confirmed [extremely mild spoiler ahead!] in a final title card declaring the film It: Part One. According to THR, though, some behind-the-scenes negotiations had to take place before a sequel could officially be set in motion. As a result, a cast for the second half of the saga has yet to be set, so start your fantasy casting for a slim Ben Hanscom and contact-wearing Richie Tozier now. A release date is still TBD as well, although 2019 is looking likely. If It’s young cast is to return for the sequel in flashback form, however, they’ll have to move quickly.

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