Warning: Contains spoilers for IT Chapter Two.
Director Andy Muschietti changed some things from Stephen King’s book and in the ending that made it into the movie, it’s revealed that Richie had romantic feelings for his best friend Eddie (James Ransone). Those feelings were ultimately left unexplored when Eddie was killed in the final battle with Pennywise.
Eddie’s death gives the Losers’ Club the motivation they need to finally kill Pennywise.
The movie ends with Richie seemingly coming to terms with his sexuality as he re-carves his and Eddie’s initials into the bridge before leaving Derry.
But now, Ransone has shared a photo on Instagram that has people wondering whether there was meant to be an even sadder end for the character.
There’s no context surrounding the snap, but we can see a prop table from the set of the movie with a photo of Hader’s character with the words, “In Loving Memory of Richard Tozier.” So, was Richie supposed to die instead?
It could have been a joke prop, but it’s possible that Muscheitti may have been leaning towards killing off Richie instead of Eddie at some point.
One fan commented on the photo saying it was actually the flyer Richie is handed in the park before he sees Pennywise, which I had totally forgotten about, but makes sense.
If Eddie had actually survived instead it would’ve been interesting to see what changes he would have made to his life and whether he would have left his wife who mirrored his abusive mother.
Stephen King has spoken about the change in Richie from his original novel to Vanity Fair, saying he was touched by the unrequited romance.
“It’s one of those things that’s kind of genius, because it echoes the beginning. It comes full circle,” he said, referring to the opening scene which sees Adrian Mellon and his boyfriend assaulted by some teenagers in Derry. Mellon is tossed over a bridge and is killed by Pennywise before his boyfriend can get to him.
Richie and Eddie’s story has a somewhat similar ending, with King adding, “At least there’s love involved. Somebody cares for [Eddie]. And that echoes the love that Adrian’s partner has for him. So that was cool.”