SPOILER ALERT: This article contains some information that could be considered SPOILERS for ‘It: Chapter Two’, so if you haven’t seen it yet, turn back now or proceed with caution.
Some viewers may have picked up on certain subtext in ‘It: Chapter One’ pertaining to the loudmouth jokester Richie Tozier, played by Finn Wolfhard. In one scene, Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer) greets him with an ice cream cone and the pair enjoy their treats while the other Losers make plans, sans ice cream. Later, when the kids are gathered in Bill’s garage, when Pennywise climbs out of the screen, Richie puts his arm around Eddie, as if to protect him. In the original Stephen King novel, Richie refers to Eddie by the nickname “Eds” and calls him “cute.” In both the novel, and now in ‘It: Chapter Two’, Pennywise threatens to expose his “secret.” That secret being that Richie hearts Eddie.
This is made plain in the new movie, even though according to Richie’s words, the only person he’s ever been with is Eddie’s mom.
Screenwriter Gary Dauberman discussed approaching the character in the films, stating:
“There is a subtext in the novel and Andy [Muschietti, director] and Barbara [Muschietti, producer] and I talked about it, but it didn’t feel like a choice, it just felt like a natural part of his character. But, I love that love story. I think that is a special part of the movie and a special part of the character. Because it felt like it was part of his character. I think we pulled it out more, and it is more prominent in the movie. It is a part of the many things that define him. The carving of the initials: I give credit to Andy on that. It was a great way to button that up.”
Bill Hader steps into the role as the adult Richie, for ‘It: Chapter Two’, with Wolfhard and the other younger Losers from the first movie appearing in flashbacks. In one flashback, Henry Bowers and his gang bully him, at the arcade, after Richie has a “moment” with a cute new kid.
But it’s not all pain and heartbreak. Richie is the joker of the group and Hader’s performance brings levity in some needed dark times. Hader currently stars on HBO’s acclaimed ‘Barry’, but he is best known for being featured on ‘Saturday Night Live’ for eight years. As such, he is a master of improv, which he put to good use in the film.
As Dauberman said:
“I can tell you there is no joke I wrote where I went, “I hope Bill sticks to the script.” Andy does a lot of takes. Bill likes to improv, so there are a lot of jokes in the movie that are his improv. But, there are also jokes that were in the script.”
The first ‘It’ became the highest-grossing horror movie ever, but it’s entirely possible that ‘It: Chapter Two’ could surpass it. Check out Hader and Wolfhard as Richie in the sequel, which is now playing in theaters.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter