It was announced by New Line Cinema that Andy Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s universally beloved horror and coming of age novel, “IT,” will officially be getting its sequel. “IT: Chapter Two” is slated to open in theaters on September 6, 2019, and is planned to begin filming in the summer of 2018.
In the original novel and 1990 television mini-series, the story takes place over two points in time which the story jumps back and forth between: The first time period is the childhood of the protagonists in 1957-58; and the other is when It makes his 27 year return they meet back up as adults in 1984-85. Muschietti purposely decided to give each of the two their own film. In addition, he changed the timeline to 1988 for the childhood storyline and present day for their return as adults.
There has been a lot of talk, including among the actors who play the characters when they are young, as to who will play the older versions of the characters. I have decided to make some casting suggestions since I am a huge fan of the book and was impressed by Muschietti’s “IT: Chapter One.”
Chris Pratt would be perfect the play the older, leaner, more confident Ben Hanscom. He has both the charm, vulnerability and the sense of humor to pull of Ben’s nuances and he works very well in ensembles. Jeremy Ray Taylor looks like a convincing younger version of the once pleasantly plump Pratt. Most importantly: Pratt is effortless when it comes to being someone an audience can root for.
Amy Adams is a cinematic force to be reckoned with but she also brings a quiet strength to her performances. This alone makes her perfect for the part. It takes more than just being a redhead to play Beverly Marsh. Adams does well in roles that require her to be resilient, without sacrificing her femininity. Having worked in many films surrounded by almost entirely male co-stars, Adams can hold her own while still contributing to an ensemble.
Having proven himself in recent dramatic roles, Jason Segel is a logical fit for Bill Denbrough, the leader of the Losers. This would be an opportunity for Segel to show off his emotional range that his previous work rarely allowed. In particular, Segel’s storyline about the death of his character Marshall’s father’s death on “How I Met Your Mother” shows he can carry Bill’s grief for the loss of his brother Georgie. Bill grows up to me a horror writer and Segel himself writing children’s horror novels in real life. It also helps that Jaeden Lieberher looks like a younger Segel and shares many similar mannerisms.
Not to spoil anything but adult Stanley Uris’s limited screen time could make this role easy to cast with a big name with a busy schedule. An in demand and beloved actor such as Christian Bale could easily commit to such a small role. Bale could convincingly convey how Stanley is still haunted by his childhood and It, while also embodying the loyal but terrified friend Wyatt Oleff brought to life. While Bale is known for drastic physical transformations, he also excels in play layered, emotionally rich characters. The Academy Award winner would help establish Stanley’s presence and keep it there long after he exits the story line.
Jack Dylan Grazer is the spitting image of Fred Savage when he was on “The Wonder Years.” The similarities in their facial expressions are uncanny, too. To play Eddie Kaspbak, an actor must be able to embody extremes: he must be fragile but strong; independent but emotionally attached; and wise but naive. Savage shines when playing underdogs, as he does when delivering one-liners or working in a comedic duo. He and Jay Duplass would make an excellent team. Most importantly, Savage can handle playing Eddie at his strongest and weakest.
Jay Duplass would make the quintessential Richie Tozier because of his masterful comic timing, expressiveness, relatable vulnerability, and how he never breaks character on screen. Duplass never gives the impression that he is just waiting to say his line. Richie may like to be the comic relief but he does so because he is very observant. Comedy is his coping mechanism for himself and to help his friends. Duplass can carry this burden on Richie. I think he and Fred Savage would have similar chemistry Finn Wolfhard and Grazer already had in the roles in “IT: Chapter One.” Duplass and Wolfhard look like a real life father and son, with and without glasses, so this casting is a no-brainer.
Comedian and filmmaker Jordan Peele revealed a new side of his creative self with his horror film “Get Out.” Peele showed an unique understanding of the horror genre that would make him a nice addition to “IT: Chapter Two.” Having already taken on race relations in a horror setting, he could help bring out this conflict between Mike and his hometown. When Mike Hanlon grows up, he becomes a librarian and call all the Losers back to Derry when It has returned 27 years later. While Muschietti made a few changes to the character, Peele has the versatility to honor Mike’s old and new traits effortlessly.