Last year it was announced that actor and director Xavier Dolan had joined the cast of It Chapter Two in the role of Adrian Mellon – a character immediately familiar to anyone whose read Stephen King‘s novel. Since then, though, there’s been almost no talk of Dolan’s part, and he’s not shown in the recently released It Chapter Two trailer. If you were worried that meant Dolan’s Mellon scene had ended up on the cutting room floor, worry not. It Chapter Two writer Gary Dauberman confirmed the scene is still in the film. Potential spoilers for It Chapter Two follow.
Unlike the 2017 film adaptation, which is set entirely in the past, Stephen King’s It novel is constantly jumping from past to present. After Pennywise the Clown kills Georgie in the opening past-set scene, King then lays out a present-day sequence in which a young gay man named Adrian Mellon also falls victim to the killer clown. In this sequence, Mellon and his boyfriend Don Haggerty are targeted by a group of homophobic Derry punks. After an altercation at a carnival, the punks run into Adrian and Don again on a bridge overlooking the canal. The punks beat up Adrian, and then throw him over the bridge into the water below.
But Adrian doesn’t die from the fall. Instead, Pennywise is waiting under the bridge, and he drags the unconscious Adrian into the darkness, and proceeds to take a huge bite out of the young man’s side. Don witnesses all of this, and also spots what looks to be thousands upon thousands of balloons – Pennywise’s trademark – floating under the bridge.
It’s a highly disturbing sequence, and it didn’t make it into the 1990 miniseries adaptation of It. In June of last year, Xavier Dolan was added to the It Chapter Two cast as Adrian Mellon. We don’t see Dolan in the new trailer, but we do see a quick shot of thousands of balloons floating under a bridge, indicating the scene probably made it into the film.
Screenwriter Gary Dauberman gave an interview to THR recently, and confirmed that the Adrian Mellon scene is indeed in the final film. “It is an iconic scene in the book and one we wanted to include in the movie,” Dauberman said. “It is the first attack in present-day Derry and sets the stage for what Derry has become. It is the influence of Pennywise even while he is hibernating, and it’s pure evil what happens to Adrian. These bullies working through Pennywise was important for us to show.”
Dauberman also confirmed that the adult Beverly, played by Jessica Chastain, will be a victim of domestic violence – something that’s also straight out of King’s book. I commented on this in my trailer breakdown, in which bruises can be spotted on Chastain’s arms. In fact, the violence in general is apparently going to be majorly increased in the sequel, with Dauberman saying It Chapter Two is “definitely bloodier than the first and it is just as scary, if not scarier. The two movies feel like a complete whole. This feels like a natural progression and extension of the first.”
All of this makes the sequel sound like a rather miserable experience, but Dauberman also stressesd that there will be some lighter moments spent with the younger incarnations of the Losers’ Club – although he refused to confirm how much screentime they have. “Fans of the first film will be pleased,” said the writer. “They’re definitely a presence in this movie.”
It Chapter Two opens September 6.
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