8 things you didn’t know about the making of ‘It Chapter Two’

Bill Skarsgård stars as Pennywise in

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Bill Skarsgård stars as Pennywise in “It Chapter Two.”
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Warner Bros.

  • It Chapter Two” will premiere in theaters on Friday.
  • It’s a sequel to the 2017 film “It,” which is in turn based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name.
  • The sequel is nearly three hours long, and features numerous special effects, including technology that was used to de-age some of the child actors who had grown up too quickly.
  • There’s also a scene in the film that used 5000 gallons of fake blood, making it one of the bloodiest scenes in movie history.
  • “It Chapter Two” stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“It Chapter Two,” the sequel to the 2017 film “It,” is also based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name.

The sequel focuses on the adult members of the Losers Club from the first film, who’ve grown into successful, wealthy adults since the events of the first movie, as they reunite in their hometown of Derry, Maine to battle Pennywise the killer clown.

The film’s production began in 2018, nearly two years after the first film wrapped, with Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and James McAvoy in starring roles. Filmmakers worked hard to faithfully replicate scenes from King’s novel, and had to get creative when it came to portraying younger versions of main characters or filming iconic scenes.

Here are eight things you didn’t know about the making of “It Chapter Two.”


One scene featured 5000 gallons of fake blood — enough to fill an above ground pool.

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Jessica Chastain plays Beverly Marsh as an adult in “It Chapter Two.”
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Warner Bros.

Production notes from the film revealed that 5000 gallons of fake blood were used for a scene where adult Beverly, played by Jessica Chastain, is forced via Pennywise to confront her childhood fears. The scene sees Chastain’s character trying not to drown in a sea of blood while also attempting to save Ben, another member of the Losers Club.

Chastain said during an appearance at San Diego Comic Con earlier this year that increasing the intensity of the scene was her idea.

“I love horror films, I love ‘Carrie,’ and I said, ‘Let’s make Carrie on steroids,” the actress said.

Previously, Chastain had told Jimmy Fallon that the scene required some serious cleanup.

“The next day I was pulling blood out of my eyeballs,” Chastain told the host in February, subsequently clarifying that it was “fake blood” she struggled to clean off.

Read more: ‘It Chapter Two’ is a horrifying but ultimately hollow film that’s a far cry from the 2017 movie


The child actors were de-aged using special effects, since some of them had grown too much since the first film.

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Flashbacks in “It Chapter Two” show the child counterparts of the adult characters.
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Warner Bros.

Even though “It Chapter Two” was filmed only two years after the first film, some of the child actors had grown up so much that de-aging technology was required for their scenes in the sequel.

Muschietti told Indie Wire that the de-aging effects were always a part of the budget for the film.

“Well, it’s better to shoot it two years later than five years later,” Muschietti said of the sequel. “But in those two years, [the child actors] grew up quite a bit.”

Read more: Here’s the grown-up cast of ‘It Chapter 2’ and who they’re playing

“Sophia looks exactly the same… [but] Finn grew up quite a bit, and he’s a tall guy,” the director continued. “But from the beginning, we knew that that would be part of the budget, the visual effects to address it. So we’re going to de-age the kids.”


Stephen King advised filmmakers during the sequel, and even came up with an all-new scene.

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“It Chapter Two” is based on the second part of Stephen King’s book.
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Warner Bros.

Author Stephen King is notoriously finicky when it comes to working with Hollywood directors adapting his works into movies, but King was such a fan of the first “It” film that he gave some input during the filming of the sequel.

According to Vanity Fair, King even suggested adding an “all-new scene” to the film that wasn’t featured in the novel or previous adaptations of “It.”

“It was absolutely huge,” Muschietti said of working with King on the film. “For me, it would have been unthinkable when I was 12 or 13.”


The actors did most of their own stunts — and Bill Hader suffered a minor injury while filming.

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Bill Hader plays comedian Richie Tozier in “It Chapter Two.”
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Warner Bros.

“Everyone did their own stunts on this movie,” Hader said in an interview with IndieWire for “It Chapter Two.”

The “SNL” actor also revealed that he suffered a minor injury during filming.

“James McAvoy is jumping off 10-foot tall things… Jessica [Chastain] is doing all this crazy stuff – I had to run 10 feet, and I pulled my groin muscle,” Hader said.

He also shared that the actors were usually covered in fake blood and dirt at the end of each day.

“You’d just have crap all over you – dirt, tons of fake blood, sweat, and all that stuff.”

“And to get it off of you, they’d put shaving cream on you,” Hader revealed.


Guillermo del Toro almost had a cameo in “It Chapter Two.”

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Guillermo Del Toro has directed movies like “The Shape of Water” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
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Getty Images / Stefania D’Alessandro

Film director and horror aficionado del Toro was approached by Muschietti for a cameo in the film.

“I’m very ambitious when it comes to cameos,” Muschietti told Slash Film in August. “It’s my best trait as a director.”

The filmmaker revealed that he had originally wanted del Toro to play a janitor that young Ben Hanscomb (Jeremy Ray Taylor) briefly runs into while trying to escape Pennywise in the sequel.

“I wanted Guillermo in the movie… We were this close. He was going to play the janitor that Ben runs into when he’s running away from Pennywise,” Muschietti said.

“That scene, of course, would have been like five minutes longer if Guillermo was in it,” the director added.


The film’s final battle was filmed in a sound stage water tank that was 75 feet wide, and filled with 180,000 gallons of heated, filtered, and chlorinated water.

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Bill Hader and James Ransone play Richie and Eddie, respectively, in “It Chapter Two.”
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Warner Bros.

The filming of the final showdown between the adult Losers and Pennywise definitely required some coordination, as production notes reveal that the actors had to deal with dark water that was four and a half feet deep.

However, scaffolding was submerged beneath the surface, which meant that the crew only had to stand in a foot and a half while filming the climax’s scenes.

In total, 180,000 gallons of water was used in the scene – more than double the amount required to fill a large inground swimming pool.


Isaiah Mustafa, who plays adult Mike, nearly missed his wedding for a final callback for “It Chapter Two.”

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Isaiah Mustafa is best known for his role on the Old Spice commercials.
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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Mustafa, who previously appeared on shows like “Shadowhunters,” nearly missed his wedding due to an audition that took place a few days before the ceremony.

According to production notes, Mustafa was called back for one final audition five hours before he was supposed to leave town for his wedding. Luckily, his fiancée was understanding, and the actor completed one final read before heading off to the ceremony a day later than expected -having received the role of Mike in “It Chapter Two.”


Hader was cast as Richie after Finn Wolfhard, who plays Richie as a child, spoke about wanting the “SNL” actor to play his character in the sequel.

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Bill Hader and Finn Wolfhard play different versions of Richie in “It Chapter Two.”
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Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

In an interview with the New York Times, Hader said he had Wolfhard to thank for his role in “It Chapter Two.”

“Finn talked about it [in interviews],” the actor said of his casting in the sequel, adding that his agent sent him a link to Wolfard discussing his desire to see Hader cast in the sequel.

“A couple of months later, [my agent] called again and said, ‘Hey, Andy Muschietti wants to meet you,'” Hader revealed.

“I was like, wow, this Finn guy is really powerful. When I met him at our table read, I was like, ‘Hey, thanks for the gig, man.'”

Sophia Lillis, who plays young Beverly, also ended up seeing her actress of choice play her in the sequel when Jessica Chastain joined the project as adult Beverly.