It became the most successful R-rated horror movie upon its release in 2017, but that record may be in danger of falling. That's because the film's sequel, It Chapter Two, is set to storm into theaters this September, likely bringing with it huge and enthusiastic audiences. And if It Chapter Two performs as well as expected, will It get another sequel? After all, horror movie franchises aren't exactly known for being compact. The genre loves overkill, as evidenced by the fact that there are nine Nightmare on Elm Street movies, 11 Halloween movies, and 12 Friday the 13th movies. So will It follow this same trajectory and start churning out a new sequel every couple of years, or will the franchise wrap up after Chapter Two?
Unlike those previously mentioned franchises, both It movies are based on a novel. Not a novel series, but one single, gargantuan novel. It was published by Stephen King in 1986, and is one of the author's most well known works. The two It movies are meant to tell the novel's entire story, so Chapter Two should mark the end of the franchise. It was adapted once before as a television miniseries in 1990, but that version only clocked in at three hours and 12 minutes total. The runtime of It Chapter Two alone is two hours and 49 minutes, and combined with the first film's two hours and 26 minutes of content, the total runtime of the two films together is a whopping five hours and 17 minutes. In other words, the two movies should do a pretty good job of fitting in just about everything from the novel.
However, just because It Chapter Two will conclude the story from the novel, that doesn't mean the movie franchise will necessarily end. Although there was no sequel to the book, there's a chance the film series could still find a way to continue. It made $700 million at the box office, and It Chapter Two could make even more. These are big numbers, especially for a horror film (the first film's budget was just $35 million), and movie studios do not like to leave money on the table. Basically, if Warner Bros. can find a way to milk more money out of It, they're going to do it.
Gary Dauberman, who wrote both It films, recently gave his own two cents on whether or not an It spinoff could happen after Chapter Two, specifically touching on the idea of a prequel that delves into the backstory of Pennywise. "I’m sure there’s interest (from Warner Bros.) but I gotta say, we want to be respectful to the material of the book," Dauberman told Bloody Disgusting. "I don’t think anybody’s [at the studio], in fact I know there’s no one over there going, 'Hey, let’s definitely do this and we could tell this story of what happened at the beaver trapping camp,' or whatever. While you could [tell that story], and I think it would be cool, I don’t think that’s what people are doing currently if that makes sense ... I think there is room to build on the mythology of It because It has been around from the beginning of time, but I don’t know if there are any plans for it. I was just very happy to tackle the book."
In other words, Dauberman thinks Chapter Two will be the final film in the It franchise. But Dauberman is a screenwriter, not a studio executive, so it's not really his decision to make. If Warner Bros. ultimately feels that more It movies would be profitable, then they'll probably find a way to make them. But for now it least, it looks like It Chapter Two will indeed be the final chapter.