Stretching across more than 1,100 pages, the story of Stephen King’s 1986 novel It is a lot to pack into even two movies, but going by the recently revealed runtime for the upcoming It: Chapter Two, it sounds like director Andy Muschietti is hoping to deliver a cinematic saga that rivals the scope of his source material.
According to Digital Spy, the runtime for Muschietti’s much-hyped sequel currently sits at a hefty 2 hours and 45 minutes. That’s a pretty lengthy film by any measure, but by the standards of the horror genre, it’s truly remarkable. That being said, Muschietti has implied that the movie could’ve been even longer, especially when you consider the length of the novel:
“A movie is very different when you’re writing the script and you’re building a story compared to what the final product is. At the beginning, when you’re writing and building the beats of the story, everything that you put in there seems very essential to the story. However, when you have the movie finally edited and it’s 4 hours long, you realize that some of the events and some of the beats can be easily lifted but the essence of the story remains intact.”
Though a 4-hour runtime may’ve been a bit excessive, Muschietti has argued that 2 hours and 45 minutes is the right length for the story he’s trying to tell:
“You cannot deliver a 4-hour movie because people will start to feel uncomfortable – no matter what they see – but we ended up having a movie that is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the pacing is very good. Nobody who’s seen the movie has had any complaint.”
Though the horror genre is generally associated with tight runtimes, these last few years have certainly given us some notable exceptions. Ari Aster’s Midsommar, for instance, runs for 2 hours and 27 minutes, and was released this month to glowing reviews. Before that, we had Hereditary, The Conjuring 2 and Korean hit The Wailing, all of which came out to commercial success and critical acclaim despite passing the 2-hour mark.
And then, of course, there’s 2017’s It, which ran for 2 hours and 15 minutes, and currently stands as the highest-grossing horror film of all time. In short, Andy Muschietti might actually pull this one off, but if you feel like Chapter Two could stand to be even longer than the reported figure, producer Barbara Muschietti has already teased the release of a director’s cut:
“We will put out a director’s cut because this time it definitely merits it. We have some amazing scenes that didn’t make it into the movie. You have to make choices sometimes and some things cannot be in this theatrical release but are definitely worthy of people seeing them at a later date.”
We’ll find out if the theatrical cut is more than enough or leaves us wanting more when It: Chapter Two hits theaters on September 6th.