Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) lures another child into the dark.

Brooke Palmer/ Warner Bros. Entertainment

In It: Chapter One, "The Losers Club," a group of outcast children banded together to defeat It, an evil force that plagues their town of Derry, Maine every 27 years.

In It: Chapter Two, the kids are grown up and It wants a rematch.

Taking the form of an evil clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), It has been training to scare the Losers even harder. They're back in Derry and at a disadvantage, having forgotten most of their childhoods. But Skarsgard reveals that Pennywise may secretly hope the Losers kill him for good and end this cycle.

"We talked a lot about [whether] there's this urge that maybe Pennywise really, really wants to be defeated finally and forever," Skarsgard said at a press conference. "So what made it more interesting to me is he's angry, he wants revenge but there might be sort of, if you could imagine such a thing as a subconscious of Pennywise that is maybe wanting to be destroyed."

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in It: Chapter Two In a house of mirrors you see Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) double!Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Andy Muschietti, director of both It: Chapter One and It: Chapter Two agreed.

"You definitely were drawn to the idea that he finally wants to be killed," Muschietti said. "I think it connects to the idea we discussed for the first movie that this is a character that is fighting to survive, strangely because it's a character that lives in the imagination of children. So to keep on living, he has to keep on killing. As long as he keeps killing, he will be alive."

Andy Muschietti (Right) directs the original Losers ClubBrooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Stephen King may agree with Skarsgard too. The Pennywise actor picked up prose from King's original tome that led him to this theory.

"Pennywise seems like he's afraid of the kids in the book a little bit," Skarsgard said. "His biggest fear is them coming back and defeating him or challenging him again. Like [Muschietti] said, he just wants to be left alone and be a beast of habit kind of a thing. What if he wants them back? If he wants them back, and he's enjoying it, and he's playing a mind game on all of the losers, and it's revenge and maybe some masochistic side of it?"

Back to do battle with It once again is a new cast of A-list movie stars portraying the kids grown-up versions of the from It: Chapter One.

Jessica Chastain plays Beverly, portrayed as a teenager by Sophia Lillis in the first film. As soon as viewers saw Lillis as Beverly, they suggested Chastain to play her as an adult. Muschietti, who directed Chastain in Mama, was ahead of them. Lillis was excited for Chapter Two to cast Chastain, too.

It: Chapter Two Jessica Chastain, Isaiah Mustafa and Jay Ryan face It againBrooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment

"When I first heard she was going to play me, I guess I felt relieved," Lillis said. "I thought she was perfect for the role so having her actually accept the role, I was very relieved about that. I kind of expected her to do really well."

Fans of King's novel are waiting to see Chastain in the book's infamous blood bath scene.

"I had said to Andy and [producer] Barbara [Muschietti] before we did it, I said, 'I'm happy to do it,'" Chastain said. "'The only thing that would make me super happy at the end is when I'm finished and you guys call wrap, I want you guys in white T-shirts. And I'm going to give you guys a bear hug and we're going to take a photo of it.' And it was amazing, actually. Because Andy complained so much just from having the slime on him for a little bit."

More grueling than the blood bath, Chastain faced continuity for every scene that followed.

"I didn't understand, because I thought that the blood would magically disappear because it's in her imagination," Chastain said. "So I just imagined when the scene was over, she'd be back to being normal Beverly. But Andy, because he loves to torture me, dressed me in blood for the whole end of the film."

Muschietti instructed all the young actors to write letters to their adult counterparts. Most took it seriously, but Finn Wolfhard remained in character as class clown Richie.

"His letter was very Richie," Hader said. "It was like, 'This is dumb. I'm being made to do this.'"

As an adult, Richie becomes a tad more emotional, although he never loses his sense of comic relief.

"I had to do that scene where I had to cry in the water, and it was freezing cold," Hader said. "Andy Muschietti was on a God mic and he was going, "Now Bill, I need you to cry, and then I need you to splash each other, and then I need you to go back to childhood. And then Bill, I need you to realize you cannot go back to childhood. And then I need you to cry like you've never cried.' Okay, so cry, play grab-ass in the water, cry harder. Got it."

It: Chapter Two The Losers Club returns to DerryBrooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Despite their victory in the summer of 1989, many of the Losers revert to their childhood selves as soon as they return to Derry. Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) stood up to his mother as a child, but grown-up Eddie (James Ransone) returns to his passive ways.

"You see at the end of It One, I kind of transition out of the submissive Eddie thing," Grazer said. "I say to my mom, 'I know my life has been a lie.' Then I tell myself, remind myself don't go back to that place. Stand your ground, have some power. It's kind of sad that I wrote that and then he reverts back to being pathetic."

As adults, the Losers are still just as susceptible to Pennywise's tricks. Skarsgard believes Pennywise never sees the Losers as adults anyway. They're still the same kids to him.

"I don't think he perceives age the same way as we do," Skarsgard said. "Watching the movie as well, I think the adult losers are so well casted, you really feel that these are the same people that you're watching. Of course, they are stuck in their childhood traumas. They have to overcome that in order to defeat Pennywise."

It: Chapter Two is in theaters Friday, September 6.


"Blinded By the Light" Blasts Cinemas With Inspiring Bruce Springsteen Music

It took 32 years to hear from a voice like this, and it's still universally applicable.

(L-r) NELL WILLIAMS as Eliza, VIVEIK KALRA as Javed and AARON PHAGURA as Roops in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Nick Wall/Warner Bros

Blinded By the Light is worth seeing in theaters just to hear the soundtrack in Dolby.

It's not just Bruce Springsteen either, the movie features music from the Pet Shop Boys, Cutting Crew, and more. There are myriad other reasons to see Blinded By the Light, but theater sound makes it a priority.

Javed Khan (Viveik Kaira) is a Pakistani teenager living in Luton, England in 1987. His father Malik (Kulvinder Ghir) and mother Noor (Meera Ganatra) work tirelessly to support him and his sisters Shazia (Nikita Mehta) and Yasmeen (Tara Divina). Javed's family expects him to study economics and get a good, stable job.

Viveik Kalra in Blinded by the Light VIVEIK KALRA as Javed in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Nick Wall/Warner Bros.

Although his parents are well-meaning, Javed feels oppressed by the pressure they put on him. High school is already a grind, but his family's emphasis on a rigid path allows little time for the experience of childhood, and his parents are too busy to do anything but check in on his academic progress. Worse, however, is that Luton is filled with racists who spit on Pakistanis and pee in their neighbors' mail slots.

The film comes to life when Javed hears the music of Bruce Springsteen. The sound drowns out the mundane distractions of his day to day life. The lyrics not only appear on screen, but drive the direction of the movie. The text isn't just for the audience to sing along, its active on the screen and literally circle Javed in creative interactive effects. Javed finds inspiration for his creativity through his love of music, and that's what Blinded by the Light is really about.

Viveik Kalra in Blinded by the Light VIVEIK KALRA as Javed in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Nick Wall/Warner Bros.

Javed is a gifted writer, but that's a craft that doesn't fit into his father's plan. An encouraging teacher, Ms. Clay (Hayley Atwell), lets Javed know that his writing is worth pursuing. Javed has a unique voice that the world deserves to hear. It doesn't take long before neighbors and classmates validate Javed's talent as well. Springsteen's music also helps Javed come out of his shell socially. From wearing New Jersey clothes to his newfound confidence, his passion for music becomes infectious.

Blinded by the Light demonstrates the difficulties of generational conflict. Javed's writing creates conflict with his father. At first, he just tries to keep it a secret. But it's not long before Javed gets too much attention to hide it, which is when Malik goes into authoritarian mode and insists his son give up writing to focus on something more practical. Despite his good intentions, Malik fundamentally misunderstands his son and insists he gives up his passion and does things his way.

KULVINDER GHIR as Malik in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.Warner Bros.

That's a theme writer/director Gurinder Chada also addressed in Bend It Like Beckham. In both films, he seems to conclude that the solution isn't just to let kids do whatever they want, but to be open to new possibilities. Malik's way simply doesn't work for Javed.

Chada still snuck some dance numbers into Blinded By The Light even though it's not a full on musical. Most pointed are the moments when that euphoria collides with racism, underscoring that there are stark realities in Luton alongside the escape of music. Above all, these very human characters will survive to the next euphoric moments.

Blinded By the Light VIVEIK KALRA as Javed and NELL WILLIAMS as Eliza in New Line Cinema's inspirational drama BLINDED BY THE LIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Nick Wall/Warner Bros.

Blinded By the Light is a universally appealing story because everyone feels lost and misunderstood sometimes no matter how rich or popular they are. You don't have to be a writer, Pakistani, British or a Springsteen fan to relate to this film, but in 2019 we are still struggling to give mainstream platforms to diverse voices. It was even harder than many can imagine for someone like Javed to succeed in 1987. Javed is probably the ideal version of the underdog, leading a story in which one triumphs enough over adversity to become the protagonist of a movie inspired by his life and inspiring others to realize that their voices matter.


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Your mom is going back to college, you'll need to rescue your kids, and things are getting dark this week at the movies.

In Popdust's column, Box Office Breakdown, we aim to inform you of the top flicks to check out every weekend depending on what you're in the mood to enjoy. Looking to laugh? What about having your pants scared off? Maybe you just need a little love? Whatever the case may be, we have you covered. Take a peek at our top picks for this week…

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