The 2017 Stephen King adaptation It was a worldwide box office hit. Coupled with the fact that the film only adapted half of King's gargantuan 1986 novel, that basically ensured that a sequel to the movie would happen. It Chapter Two hits theaters on Sept. 6, adapting the half of the book that features the Losers Club as adults, but also incorporating some flashbacks to the era depicted in the first film. So when exactly does It Chapter Two take place?
King's original novel is famous for its nonlinear storytelling. The book tells the story of the Losers Club's two battles with the evil entity known as Pennywise: one as children and a second as adults. The children's battle takes place in the book in 1958. Since the novel was originally published in 1986, the '50s setting provided a healthy dose of nostalgia that was popular at the time (for reference, the mega hit movie Back to the Future was released in 1985 and has a plot that takes place largely in 1955). These days, it's '80s nostalgia that drives pop culture (see: Stranger Things), so naturally, the 2017 adaptation of It updated the setting of the children's battle to 1988, which is two years after the original novel was published in real life.
In the novel, Pennywise emerges from hibernation every 27 years to feast on the children of Derry, Maine. Since its encounter with the child-aged Losers took place in 1958, that means Pennywise surfaced again in 27 years later in 1985 to face off against the adult Losers Club. Pennywise follows the same schedule in the 2017 film, meaning that in It Chapter Two, the adults will square off against Pennywise 27 years after 1988, setting the movie in 2015. But the sequel is also set to do something its predecessor did not do.
Whereas 2017's It takes place entirely in 1988 (save for Georgie's encounter with the creature in late 1987), It Chapter Two will be more similar in structure to the book in that it will include scenes from both timelines. So even though the bulk of the sequel's massive 165 minute runtime will be devoted to chronicling the adventures of the adult Losers Club in 2015, there will still be plenty of time left over for flashbacks featuring the kids in 1988.
The inclusion of the kids in the sequel apparently posed some problems for the production. Since filming took place two years after the original, that meant the child actors had all aged two years — with some of them looking significantly older. That's an issue, since the kids need to appear the same as they did in the original film. So to combat the aging process, the movie's special effects team has digitally de-aged the kids for It Chapter Two, per Total Film via Bloody Disgusting. This type of de-aging technology has been seen previously in examples like young Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War and young Princess Leia in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but this may mark the first time the tech has been used to digitally make children appear younger.
While the movie's 2015 setting doesn't carry the same nostalgic weight as the 1988 setting of its predecessor, the movie should still feature enough footage of the (digitally de-aged) Losers Club in their tween prime to quench your thirst for all things '80s.