Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” aren’t the only notable fall releases using de-aging special effects. In an interview with Total Film magazine (via Bloody Disgusting), “It: Chapter Two” director Andy Muschietti reveals the horror sequel reserved some of its VFX budget to de-age the child actors who appeared in the 2017 first installment. The young actors — Jaeden Martell (Bill), Wyatt Oleff (Stanley), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie), Finn Wolfhard (Richie), Sophia Lillis (Beverly), Chosen Jacobs (Mike), and Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben) — reprise their “It” roles in the sequel via flashback sequences.
“Well, it’s better to shoot it two years later than five years later. But in those two years, they grew up quite a bit,” Muschietti said of his original cast. “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.”
De-aging VFX have become the latest Hollywood trend. Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is using de-aging technology to make Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci appear decades younger, while Ang Lee’s VFX in the action film “Gemini Man” make Will Smith appear like a 23 year old. The technology also played a starring role in Marvel Studios and Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” in which Samuel L. Jackson played a 1990s-era version of his popular character Nick Fury. Marvel has experimented a lot with de-aging VFX, using the technology on Michael Douglas in “Ant-Man.”
“It Chapter Two” is set 27 years after the events of the first movie and follows the now-adult members of the Losers Club as they return to Derry, Maine, to finish Pennywise once and for all. While the majority of the film stars the adult cast, including Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, and James McAvoy, the original “It” child actors filmed new scenes for flashbacks. McAvoy told Total Film that returning to Derry results in a “reopening of events” for the characters, hence the young cast returning. Muschietti also confirmed to the magazine that Stephen King wrote a new scene for the movie that was not included in his 1986 horror novel.
Warner Bros. is set to open “It Chapter Two” in theaters nationwide September 4.