IT Chapter Two - the followup and conclusion to 2017's record-setting smash, IT - has gotten a lot of attention for its 169-minute length. That's more than a half-hour longer than its predecessor and just a few minutes shy of Avengers: Endgame's infamous runtime. Then again, it was adapted from a three-pound, 1,138-page paperback, so no matter how long the big-screen version wound up being, a lot of material was inevitably getting altered, rearranged, or chopped out altogether. It's the nature of the beast.
But just how much creative license did director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman take with their second installment? Quite a bit, as it turns out. From Mike's revitalized role to Richie's deepest fear, from Derry's destiny to the reasons for Stanley Uris's absence, Chapter Two offers its own interpretation of one of Stephen King's most epic stories.
In the novel, not much is made of Richie’s love life. It's mentioned early on that he had a wife for a while, but had gotten a divorce after a few years. In the movie it's heavily implied that not only is Richie gay, but also may have feelings for fellow Losers' Club member Eddie Kaspbrak.
Pennywise is wise to Richie's secret, tauntingly recognizing that being outed is Richie's greatest fear.
In the novel, the adult version of Mike Hanlon spends most of his time convincing the Losers to return to Derry, then helping them slowly remember what happened in the summer of 1957. Unlike his younger self, Mike doesn’t actually make it into the sewers to face off against Pennywise as an adult; instead, he's in the hospital, courtesy of Henry Bowers.
In the movie, not only is Mike down in IT’s lair with the rest of the group, but he plays an instrumental role in taking down the monster.
As the Losers face off against Pennywise in the book, a major storm is raging over Derry. By the time the group manages to defeat IT, a large portion of the city is ruined - the standpipe rolls down a hill and takes out multiple homes, the city floods, there are multiple explosions in the city mall, and a sinkhole opens up in the middle of town from which the Losers eventually escape.
Despite a more action-packed confrontation with the shapeshifting clown, the movie’s ending keeps Derry itself unscathed.
Both the book and the movie feature the early passing of Stan Uris - the quiet and clean member of the Losers’ Club. In the book, Stan's self-inflicted demise is based purely on the fear of returning to Derry and facing Pennywise again - nothing more.
In the movie, the end reveals that Stan took his own life strategically in order for the Losers to do what they needed to do to take down Pennywise.