IT took audiences by storm last Halloween and brought with it a dose of nostalgia and horror that appealed to a far more mainstream audience than was expected. This combined with the fact that the film was only half of the whole story adaptation, has led to a massive opportunity when it comes to casting a now-beloved group of child characters as adults. To that end, we’ve gotten word that at least one person has put their name out there: Jessica Chastain, as adult Beverly Marsh.
“Well, I love Andy and Barbara,” Chastain told ScreenRant. “I worked with them on Andy’s directorial debut, you know, his film, Mama. His first film. And you know, Barbara is one of my best friends so… Listen, of course, I want to work… they’re my friends. They’re like my family. Anything that they’re doing I want to be a part of, so I hope we can make it happen.”
“Jessica is an amazing actress and a very good friend and I would love her to play Beverly,” Director Andy Muschietti said to Variety in a previous interview. “She loves the movie and it feels like the planets are aligned in that sense, but we still have to make that happen. There are a lot of ideas for the rest of the cast that I’m playing with, but it’s a bit too premature to say those names right now.”
IT: Chapter 1 was a massively surprising success, and there’s probably no other sequel in horror history with this much pressure to get the casting right for the adult versions of these characters. We here at GEEK think there’s some prime potential in these roles, especially when it comes to rounding out the story and making sure all of its important beats work just as well as they did in the first chapter, and a large part of that is making sure the right people can act out the right parts, on top of making sure they’re appropriate for the role itself. Jessica Chastain is an excellent pick because she’s a fantastic actress and I could really believe that Sophia Lillis grows up to become her. It got us thinking here at GEEK, “Who would we cast in these roles?”
We’re certain there’s bound to be some choices that’ll infuriate or confuse some, but it’s impossible to please everyone. At least with these choices, we can try to explain the how and why of why they’d work. Though there’s always the possibility that we’re making a glaring oversight, and if that’s the case, feel free to let us know in the comments.
Kyle Chandler As Bill Denbrough
Bill Denbrough, played excellently by Jaeden Lieberher, could easily be portrayed by Kyle Chandler (Super 8, Friday Night Lights), since he’s always a willful, determined, and likable lead.
Tom Hiddleston As Stanley Uris
Stan Uris was pretty relatable in the flick thanks to Wyatt Oleff, and a big name draw like Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Unrelated) for his role would make a huge impact on viewers in a way I can’t mention without spoiling.
Jerry O’ Connell As Ben Hanscom
Ben Hanscom, played by Jeremy Ray Taylor, was one of the audience favorites at my screening of the movie. A pick like Jerry O’Connell (Billions, Veronica Mars) would mirror some of the Stephen King nostalgia/retro goodwill that the films are hearkening to, given his previous presence as the chubby kid in the seminal adaptation of Stephen King’s Stand By Me.
Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh
Beverly Marsh was great, and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar) can certainly match Sophia Lillis’ performance. Not changing this one.
Adam Goldberg as Richie Tozier
Richie Tozier is probably gonna be the most difficult character to cast of them all. They did an excellent job getting Finn Wolfhard to play the role of the mouthy jerk-friend, and Adam Goldberg, (Fargo, Saving Private Ryan), has made kind of a career of playing that character. He may not initially look or seem the part, but he has the chops to pull it off. However, we have a feeling a bigger name will be chosen for this part, ultimately.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Eddie Kaspbrak
Eddie Kaspbrak was remarkably believable as a neurotic, nervous hypochondriac, and Jack Dylan Grazer nailed it. It also sounds just like a Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Okja) character! The guy could easily play a bug-eyed, freaked out Eddie as an adult.
Jordan Peele as Mike Hanlon
While initially, we wanted to choose someone like Don Cheadle for this role, the simple fact is it’s not a decade ago and the math simply wouldn’t add up, especially considering how much younger looking the rest of the cast is/was/would be. To that end, a decade younger and also an excellent choice is Jordan Peele (Key & Peele, Keanu), who’d bring some charisma to a role that Chosen Jacobs never really got to shine in.
Ben Mendelsohn as Henry Bowers
Henry Bowers needs to be played by someone who can be truly menacing, yet also slyly captivating. His adult character is more than just the lousy bully character he was when played by Nicholas Hamilton. He’s much darker and crueler than that as an adult, as well as supernaturally aged. Enter: Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One, Bloodline), a looks-older-than-he-is thespian who could carry the whole movie on his back if needed.
Obviously, there’s no re-casting needed for Pennywise, and yes, we’re aware there are some age discrepancies. However, ultimately what matters is the actors carrying that performance, and with the magical Hollywood panacea that is “vaguely middle-aged,” we know the casting department has a wide berth when it comes to choosing candidates for these roles. Hopefully, they take at least as much effort as we did in coming up with a list like this, and while we’re sure there’s bound to be a completely different cast than this, it doesn’t make speculating less fun. One day, they’ll release an actual cast list, and then we’ll get to compare and see how things turn out.
If anything, we’re going to get an amazing sequel out of it, as casting child actors has gotta be harder than casting adult ones. We’ll all see when IT: Chapter 2‘s cast is officially announced.
Images: Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros,
New Wave Films, Dimension, 20th Century Fox,
Open Road Films, Sony Pictures Television, Showtime