It Chapter 3: Will It Ever Release?

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
It Chapter 3 Pennywise

After its sequel managed to wrap up Pennywise's story, some are wondering if IT: Chapter 3 should still be released. 

IT is based on Stephen King's highly acclaimed novel of the same name that revolves around an otherworldly shape-shifter who torments the town of Derry, Maine. Taking the shape of its favorite form, Pennywise the Clown, Derry's monster usually targets kids while consuming their fear. 

IT focused on the first showdown between The Losers Club and Pennywise while its sequel, IT: Chapter Two, explored the battle between the adult versions of the main protagonists against the killer clown. 

The first IT premiered in theaters on September 17, 2017, while IT: Chapter Two was released on September 6, 2019.

Is It: Chapter 3 in the Works?

It Pennywise
Warner Bros.

IT and IT: Chapter Two were both considered by many as faithful adaptations of Stephen King's novel. 

The two movies had a definitive beginning, middle, and end and they managed to provide closure to all the characters involved. 

While there's always a chance that Pennywise's story will continue in some form, there's no word from Warner Bros. if a threequel will be made. 

Despite that, Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard spoke with Joblo in September 2019, teasing that he and IT: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti have a story in mind for a potential threequel: 

"Andy and I have discussed ideas for what a third movie would look like. I don't think it's quite what people expect. It's something different. The first two stories are the book, and the second film is the end of that story. So we would do something quite literally off-book. There are a few ideas floating around."

Skarsgard continued by hinting that the cool idea revolves around "[changing] up a few things:"

"I feel like I've done what I can with the incarnation of Pennywise as we know of him, so I think it would be a cool idea to change up a few things. So, without going into too much detail, there is a story that we're kind of excited about, but it's way too early to say. But we'll see, we'll see."

The actor's tease indicated that a third chapter would only happen if the story isn't derived from the book, which makes sense considering that Stephen King wrote IT as a standalone story. 

Although Skarsgard spoke with Muschietti about a third movie, the director had other plans. 

In an interview with Variety in September 2017, Muschietti admitted that he never envisioned the IT franchise becoming a trilogy. 

When asked if there were discussions about possibly splitting Chapter Two into films, the director turned down the idea: 

"I don’t think so. I’ve read that idea in the media, which is funny. I understand why they would think that because New Line originally split up “The Hobbit” into three [movies] instead of two. It would make sense because it would give me more turf to develop the characters and more of a canvas to develop the journey, but to be honest, there wasn’t a conversation about that and now we are designing the story as one single film."

In fact, IT author Stephen King told Bloody Disgusting's The Loser's Club Podcast in June 2022 that he has no plans to write a sequel to Pennywise's story, with him even pointing out that another project set in that world is in the works namely the Welcome to Derry prequel series: 

“Well, I don’t have a relationship to Pennywise now. Because I have no intention of going back to 'IT'… it’s in the hands of people who are doing this… Andy and Barbara [Muschietti] are going to do ‘Welcome to Derry,’ they’re talking about it anyway. And they’ve got sort of a handshake deal, I think, with HBO Max.”

Continuing Pennywise's story right after the events of IT: Chapter Two would potentially ruin the character's legacy, and it would be wise to simply focus on his complex origins instead. 

Despite the fact that IT: Chapter 3 is not expected to be released anytime soon, the new prequel series presents an opportunity to expand the world of IT

In March 2022, Variety shared that Welcome to Derry is in development. The prequel series will premiere on Max, and it will explore Pennywise's origin story in the 1960s.

Will Bill Skarsgard return to reprise his role as Pennywise the Clown? It seems not. 

Speaking with Jake's Takes in March 2023, the actor confirmed that he is "not currently involved" with the series before giving advice to his potential successor if he doesn't come back: 

"As of now, I'm not currently involved with it. If someone else gets to do it, my advice would be: Do it your own. Make it your own. Have fun with it. What I found pleasurable about that character is how abstract he was."

This new series is not expected to be released anytime soon due to the ongoing Hollywood writers' and actors' strikes however. 

What Could Happen in It: Chapter 3?

Pennywise balloon
Warner Bros.

If Warner Bros. decides to ultimately give the green light to IT: Chapter 3, there are several ways the story can continue even without Pennywise. 

It's possible that certain elements or characters from Welcome to Derry could carry over into IT: Chapter 3, such as ones centered around The Dark Tower lore. 

For the uninitiated, King's novels The Dark Tower and IT are confirmed to be connected. IT's Pennywise and The Dark Tower's Crimson King are "likely" of the same species. 

The magical turtle who appears in the movies and is mentioned in IT was also featured in The Dark Tower. A third movie could further expand on these connections, with it even introducing far more dangerous beings like Pennywise. 

In IT's lore, it was established that Pennywise comes back or regenerates after 27 years to torment Derry, Maine. Although The Losers Club managed to defeat the entity in IT: Chapter Two, there's always a chance that the evil being will eventually come back to seek revenge, considering that the protagonists only managed to destroy its heart and not the Deadlights. 

The Deadlights are orange lights that originate from the Macroverse, serving as IT's connection between the said dimension and Earth. It's likely that a semblance of the Deadlights is still present somewhere in Derry, and this could be used as a way to revive the evil clown. 

One way for IT: Chapter 3 to become unique is to find a way for a group of kids and adults to team up to ultimately defeat the evil that has been tormenting Derry for centuries. 

IT and IT: Chapter Two are both streaming on Max.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.