It Chapter Two will feature an important change to Pennywise’s homophobic attack
It Chapter Two will feature a hate crime against a gay man that appeared in Stephen King’s source material – but with one key change from the original story.
Director Andy Muschietti has revealed that gay character Adrian Mellon, who appeared in King’s novel It, will be featured in the sequel, which hits cinemas in September.
However, unlike in King’s novel, the character will be asthmatic, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Muschietti made this change for an important reason. He revealed that King based the character on the real-life story of Charlie Howard, a young gay man who was brutally murdered by teenagers in Bangor, Maine, in 1984.
It Chapter Two: Real-life murdered gay man Charlie Howard had asthma.
In real-life, Howard had asthma, so Muchietti decided to make the character Adrian Mellon asthmatic to make him as authentic as possible.
“It’s one of the things that really caused a deep impact on Stephen King when he was writing It. So, he decided to include it,” he said.
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He was asthmatic, so that made things really worse.
“Of course, the names are changed, but the beating happened almost exactly like it’s described in the book, and Charlie died in three feet of water in the canal.”
In the real-life murder of Charlie Howard, he was pushed over a bridge – much like in King’s story – and died in water.
“He was asthmatic, so that made things really worse,” Muschietti said. “For me, it was always an essential part of the story.”
In King’s story, Adrian Mellon is pushed over a bridge by the teenagers – and when he lands, meets the film’s terrifying clown Pennywise, who kills him.
The hate crime is essential to the core of the story.
Muschietti also commented on the decision to not include Adrian Mellon in an earlier TV miniseries based on King’s novel, saying he understood why the scene had been removed for a television audience. However, he sees the scene as being essential to the core of the story and felt he didn’t have any choice but to include it.
It Chapter Two picks up 27-years after the events of the first film and follows the characters as adults as they must confront Pennywise again. The film stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransome, Jay Ryan, and Andy Bean.