Producer Roy Lee confirmed last week that the sequel to 2017’s blockbuster adaptation of Stephen King’s “IT” is set to begin shooting this July, with a Sept. 2019 release date planned.
Lee told IndieWire late last week that the “script is being finalized” and that location scouting was continuing, but that a July start date was anticipated, with director Andres Muschietti returning to helm “IT: Chapter 2.” The film will be shot once again in Canada. Sadly, not in Bangor, a.k.a Derry — the first film did include exterior footage shot in town, and digitally altered much of it to create a kind of bizarro Bangor. It’s not known if the same will be true of the second film. If anyone knows if a camera crew has been in the Queen City, you know whom to reach out to.
Meanwhile, casting speculation continue to swirl. Thus far, only three adult actors have been confirmed to join the cast (including Bill Skarsgard, reprising his role as Pennywise). We’re not even sure if the original young actors playing the kids will be back in anything other than flashbacks.
Here’s what we know and don’t know so far as far as casting — as well as some totally unsubstantiated dream casting suggestions. As always: spoilers ahead.
James McAvoy is reportedly in talks to be cast as Bill, the leader of the Loser’s Club whose brother Georgie’s death at the hands of Pennywise kicks off the events of the story. McAvoy already has a horror pedigree as the star of the 2016 surprise blockbuster “Split,” and he’s young Professor X, too, in the X-Men films. We think he’d do a fine job in the role of the hero of “IT.” No complaints there.
According to Variety, Jessica Chastain is already confirmed to play Bev, the only female member of the Loser’s Club, who as an adult is a successful fashion designer living in Chicago. Chastain is a dead ringer for Sophia Lillis, who played Young Bev in the first film, and she’s an incredible actress to boot, so really, it’s perfect casting.
Motor-mouthed Richie was played in his 13-year-old form by Finn Wolfhard. As an adult — a successful radio DJ known for his many voice impersonations — the proposed casting is Bill Hader. Hader’s also known for his incredible voice work, and as evidenced by his alternately comedic and dramatic turn in the new HBO series “Barry,” he’s a fine actor too.
The hypochondriacal but heroic Eddie is played as a kid by Jack Dylan Grazer. As an adult, he’s a self-made entrepreneur living in New York. For that nervous energy mixed with heroism, we think Jesse Eisenberg would be a great choice for adult Eddie.
In the books, Mike is the only member of the Loser’s Club to stay behind in Derry, becoming the town’s unofficial historian, and he’s the one that puts out the alarm call to the rest of the group that Pennywise is back. Chosen Jacobs played young Mike, but we’d like to see Brian Tyree-Henry, a multi-talented Broadway actor who plays Paper Boi on “Atlanta” and had a well-received guest-starring role on “This Is Us,” take on the role of Mike.
The most soulful of the Loser’s Club, the sweet, sensitive, brilliant Ben undergoes a transformation as an adult, becoming an architect and losing the weight that made him the target of cruelty from Henry Bowers and company. We think John Krasinski would be just the right person to play this role, especially now that he’s got some serious horror movie cred.
Though he has a much bigger role in the first movie, if you know anything about the part of “IT” where the Loser’s Club are adults, you know how things end up for Stan. Nevertheless, it has the potential to be a devastating scene. Who could play that role? Maybe Alex Karpovsky? Justin Long? Some unknown actor? Probably the latter.