Man, IT: Chapter 2 is gonna be weird AF y'all.
First off, some early set photos revealed Pennywise riding on the shoulder of a large Paul Bunyan statue. For fans of the book, the implication was clear: returning director Andy Muschietti is probably filming an interpretation of the scene from Stephen King's novel where Pennywise the Clown (played again by consummate weirdo Bill Skarsgård) terrorizes funnyman Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard as a kid / Bill Hader as an adult).
Then, Xavier Dolan was cast as Adrian Mellon - a young gay man who's killed by a group of hateful thugs, before having his armpit chomped by Dat Boi under Derry, Maine's kissing bridge. Easily the most #problematic narrative element in the entirety of King's massive tome, it showed that Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman aren't going to shy away from the ugliest moments in the story (as it's the inciting incident that gets Mike Hanlon to call the Losers back to their haunted hometown).
Now, Dauberman has confirmed that the "Ritual of Chüd" - the strangest, most psychedelic portion of the story - is definitely going to be included in Chapter 2. The filmmakers had hinted at the inclusion of the climactic plot point in the past, but now the scribe is definitively saying that we will see it in the movie, at least in some form (via Cinema Blend):
"The Ritual of Chüd is challenging, but it’s such an important component to the book that we had to address it. That stuff is difficult to balance, but because (director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti and I) worked with each other before, when I’m writing pages and all that stuff it becomes more of a conversation and less like, ‘Hey, here’s what I did.’ It’s sort of organic; it’s really kind of just chipping away at the stone and trying to find the most focused, accessible way into some of more metaphysical aspects of that book.”
"Metaphysical" is definitely the right word to describe Chüd. For those who aren't familiar, it's perhaps the oddest chapter in an already bizarre text, as the kids take a sort of Native American “spirit quest” to try and decipher how to defeat Bob Gray, one which allows them to glimpse his astral plane. In fact, it's so fucking crazy that even Cary Fukunaga and Chase Palmer’s drafts skipped over it (though, to be fair, in the place of Chüd they had giant starfish and upside down waterfalls and shit).
I mean, on one hand I'm here for all of this. After Castle Rock went full-tilt Dark Tower and Talisman, it's safe to assume every King adaptation from here on out is done playing anything safe. On the other, this could all go horribly wrong and become a massive trainwreck onscreen. None of these moments lend themselves to easy cinematic adaptation, but after Muschietti knocked the first IT out of the park - despite all the awful BTS troubles the movie experienced even getting off the ground - I think he's earned a little trust.
Guess we'll all see next year, when IT: Chapter 2 hits screens on September 6th, 2019.