While the TV adaptation of IT remains a favorite among fans of Stephen King, the truth is that the rather divisive ending didn't have a leg (or eight) to stand on. Fortunately, the original book is a different beast altogether, ending on a far more satisfying note that wrapped up each plot point, and gave the Losers Club the final hurrah they deserved.
Clearly, a follow-up isn't really needed, yet fans are still hungrier for a sequel to IT than Pennywise after 27 years of fasting — and when you consider the enduring popularity of the Dancing Clown on our screens, it's easy to see why.
At the end of the day, we already know that the IT movie will return for a sequel which follows the children into adulthood, but will Stephen King be tempted to give fans another book to sink their teeth into? It's clear that the literary return of Pennywise would also leave fans floating with delight — but what does the King of Horror himself have to say on the matter?
Will Stephen King Ever Write A Sequel To IT?
With over 50 novels to his name, Stephen King is hardly short of ideas, but that doesn't mean the author is completely opposed to revisiting his more iconic work. After Roland of Gilead finally finished his 22-year journey in The Dark Tower saga, King returned to Mid-World just a few years later for a new novel, which came chronologically between volumes four and five.
The Wind Through the Keyhole isn't the only sequel that the King of Horror has written either. Thirty-six years after Jack Torrance found an unhealthy balance between work and play, King wrote a sequel to The Shining titled Doctor Sleep, that saw his son Danny deal with a whole new case of "redrum." Talk of a movie adaptation has further piqued the interest of fans who are curious to see whether King will write sequels to more of his most iconic books, including the mammoth read that is IT.
Unfortunately though, fans should probably start praying to the Turtle right now, as the odds of getting an IT 2 are low. During a Reddit AMA in 2013, King revealed that he's reluctant to commit to an IT sequel, explaining that:
"I don't think I could bear to deal with Pennywise again. Too scary, even for me."
This makes a lot of sense. After all, few people enjoy returning to their nightmares, and the otherworldly clown easily numbers among King's most nightmarish creations. However, hope is not lost just yet for the more masochistic among you. Later on in the same AMA, King was asked whether he would return to the fantasy world of his '80s book, The Eyes of the Dragon, and the answer might be surprising for some.
"Yes, I might go back there. I wrote a sequel to The Shining, so anything is possible. As a general rule, I don't revisit. Too many new stories to tell."
Despite the fact that some fans rejected The Eyes of the Dragon because they disliked its fantasy leanings, King seems open to writing a sequel for the oft misunderstood novel. King apparently prefers the idea of revisiting a world that features dragons rather than ancient, shape-shifting creatures who feed off children's corpses. Go figure.
However, what's most interesting about this answer is that King himself said that "anything is possible". If that's the case, then does this mean that the prolific author may reconsider writing a sequel to IT later down the line? Given that 36 years passed between publication of The Shining and its sequel, there's still plenty of time for King to rethink penning a new adventure for the Dancing Clown.
What Could Happen In A Sequel To IT?
Technically, the story of IT acted as its own sequel, jumping back and forth between two distinctly different time periods. However, if King ever did decide to shine the deadlights on Derry once more, then there's three clear directions a sequel could take:
1) The obvious answer is for King to write a direct sequel that imagines what would happen if one of Pennywise's eggs survived destruction at the hands of the Losers Club. This evil offspring could embark on its own killing spree — although the problem here is that a sequel in this vein would basically recycle the plot of the original, substituting Pennywise for a Mini-wise.
2) Alternatively, King could expand one of the interludes threaded throughout IT into a prequel of sorts. While plenty of detail went into writing these sections of the original book, it would still be fascinating to read more about the events that led to the deaths of the Bradley Gang, or dozens of innocent people at The Black Spot.
Hell, King could even delve into a new chapter from Derry's history and build an entirely new story around that. After all, Pennywise lurked under the town for millennia, rising every 27 years to feed. The opportunities here are endless, and arguably preferable to a direct sequel.
3) However, if King does stick to his Sandalwood guns — Thankee sai — then #Pennywise could still return, but just not in his own story. The Dancing Clown has popped his head out of the sewers numerous times since IT was published, most notably in Dreamcatcher and The Tommyknockers, where his silver eyes were spotted lurking in the drains.
King's dedication to building his own shared universe puts even the MCU to shame, so it's extremely likely that Pennywise will return again in the pages of King's work, especially now that the movie adaptation of IT is set to break records worldwide.
Arguably, this approach would be the best. After all, there are many fans out there who feel that IT works perfectly as a stand-alone story and rightly so. By writing a sequel that wasn't originally intended to exist, there's a chance that #StephenKing could sully the reputation of what many consider to be his magnum opus.
During a book launch in Paris, The Telegraph reported that King shared this sentiment, explaining that:
"I don't usually write sequels. When I get to the end of a story, I'm done with these people, not because I don't like them any more, but because I don't know what happens next."
However, King made an exception for Danny Torrance, bringing him back to star in Doctor Sleep, so you never know. It might take another 27 years, but we're sure that many fans will continue to hold out hope for a sequel to IT. After all, it's not like Pennywise already appears in our dreams every night...
Do you think Stephen King should write a sequel to IT? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!