By Anthony Breznican
April 22, 2019 at 06:43 PM EDT
09/06/19
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James McAvoy‘s birthday just passed, and instead of balloons, the director of It: Chapter Two has given fans a first glimpse of the actor’s character.

McAvoy plays grown-up Bill Denbrough, whose little brother Georgie was one of the first victims of the shapeshifting evil that lives beneath the town of Derry in Stephen King‘s epic horror tale.

In the first movie, Bill (played by Jaeden Martell, formerly Jaeden Lieberher) helps assemble fellow outcasts to combat the presence, which likes to manifest as the sneering Pennywise the Dancing Clown (played by Bill Skarsgard).

King’s novel wove together the story of the kids battling the entity for the first time with that tale of their return 27 years later, facing the same fears and traumas as adults. The movie tells the second half of that story, although the young actors will return for new flashback scenes.

In the image shared by filmmaker Andy Muschietti, below, he notes that McAvoy “will thrust his f-f-fists against anything that moves in September 6,” when the new movie opens.

That’s a reference not just to brawling with clowns, but to the tongue-twister “He thrusts his fists against the post and still insists he sees the ghost,” which the character repeats to help avoid his stuttering — which returns with a vengeance when he revisits the town of Derry.

Judging by McAvoy’s pose in the image shared by Muschietti, he is likely riding a bike — and a very specific one. In King’s novel, Bill returns home and runs across Silver, the same Schwinn he owned as a boy.

It’s an omen, no doubt. But … a good one?

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