There’s always been a caution about working with kids in show business, mostly because some of them can be difficult to work with due to their penchant for simply being kids. But there’s another challenge that comes with utilizing kids who are on the cusp of hitting puberty, especially if you have a franchise of films, and that’s growing up. In the case of It Chapter 2, director Andy Muschietti confirmed that the Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema reserved money in the sequel’s budget to to ensure the kids looked exactly as young as they did in the first movie.
Total Film (via SyFy) spoke with Andy Muschietti about the It Chapter Two de-aging that needed to be done in order to keep the young cast members of the Losers Club looking like their fresh-faced, young selves in 1988. Even though most of the new movie takes place in the present day with adult versions of the adolescent characters from the first chapter, there will still be flashbacks that required the young cast to come back. Here’s what the director had to say about that element of the sequel:
“It’s better to shoot it two years later than five years later. But in those two years, they grew up quite a bit. Not all of them. Sophia looks exactly the same. Jaeden looks pretty much the same. Finn grew up quite a bit, and he’s a tall guy. But from the beginning, we knew that that would be part of the budget, the visual effects to address that. So we’re going to de-age the kids.”
So Jaeden Martell and Sophia Lillis haven’t aged significantly enough to require much (if any) de-aging for them to reprise their respective roles as Bill and Beverly. However, as Stranger Things fans saw in the show’s third season, Finn Wolfhard hit one hell of a growth spurt in the past two years, and surely he’ll need visual effects to make him look like his young self again. As for fellow cast members Wyatt Oleff (Stanley), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie), Chosen Jacobs (Mike) and Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben), we’re not sure if they’ll require much visual effects work.
Funnily enough, if you go back to the most recent It Chapter Two trailer, it looks like there may be at least one shot with a digitally de-aged Finn Wolfhard. When the trailer juxtaposes the adult versions of the Losers Club with their childhood selves, the shot of Richie looks like it’s been digitally altered to make Wolfhard look younger.
At first, it appears like it could be a shot from the first movie when the kids are talking in the middle of the town square, but Richie is wearing a different shirt. The still shot doesn’t look bad, but when you see it in motion for the couple seconds it’s on screen, there’s something odd about Richie moves. See it at the 52-second mark in the trailer here.
Anyway, this will be the first time that the new technology used to de-age actors is used in a horror movie, and it’s probably one of the few instances where a horror movie actually has the budget to pull it off. The first chapter of It was a huge hit, so Warner Bros. was willing to spend more money than usual to give the sequel everything it needed. And if they set aside some of the budget for those kind of VFX, then there must be at least one sizeable flashback sequence that plays a key part in the film. We’ll find out when It Chapter Two arrives in theaters on September 4, 2019.
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