Warner Bros. might be skipping San Diego Comic-Con this year, but their now-annual ScareDiego event hosted by subsidiary New Line was more polished than ever. For the third year in a row, the little genre house within WB has used SDCC to tease its upcoming horror releases — typically a picture or two in the Conjuring universe — at a local movie theater. But this year it was a higher-profile affair hosted by Conan O’Brien, featuring the whole adult talent roster for its forthcoming It: Chapter Two. The highly anticipated sequel comes two years after Chapter One generated more than $700 million at the global box office, making it the most profitable horror release of all time (if you don’t adjust The Exorcist grosses for inflation, that is).
Director Andrés Muschietti joined Conan on stage for a brief chat before they brought out James Ransone (Eddie), Jessica Chastain (Beverly), Bill Hader (Richie), Andy Bean (Stanley), James McAvoy (Bill), Jay Ryan (Ben), and Isaiah Mustafa (Mike) for a substantial panel conversation, during which everyone roundly praised Muschietti’s directing skills and emphasized how truly god damn terrifying Bill Skarsgård is on set in full Pennywise garb. (Chastain and Muschietti even sang a brief duet, which was surprisingly delightful.) They also shared a sneak peak at three clips from the film. Conan swore the room to secrecy regarding the content of the footage; all the material was being watched for the first time by everyone in the room, including the cast. One thing New Line is willing to share with the public, however, is the movie’s newest trailer.
The volume of fake blood used during filming has already been a topic of conversation around Chapter Two, and Chastain confirmed that about 4,500 gallons of it were deployed on set — a lot of which she found herself submerged in up to her neck. She described one particularly soaked scene as “Carrie on steroids” — calling the process of shooting it “torture.” (You can catch the briefest glimpse of the bloodbath in the new trailer. Pause at the screaming, bloody Chastain that pops up if you want to really take in the gore.)
This writer was, admittedly, not overly impressed with the first It, but in lieu of any further details, Vulture can confirm the footage selected for Comic-Con was extremely encouraging. The cast chemistry really jumped off the screen, and the use of in-camera effects helped the scares come alive. If you liked what Muschietti delivered in his first film, the sequel looks to deliver more of the goods you loved. And for those hoping the second installment brings some more heat where you were previously left cold, let yourself get a little more excited for Chapter Two’s theatrical bow on September 6.