James McAvoy and Bill Hader are in talks to join the IT: Chapter 2 cast, with Jessica Chastain already onboard to play the grown-up version of Beverly Marsh in the film. Last year’s IT movie was a runaway critical and commercial success for Warner Bros., which was all the more welcome news for the studio because it left the second half of Stephen King’s original horror novel for a sequel to adapt. Chapter 2 will focus on the latter half of the source material, picking up with the members of the Losers’ Club as adults 27 years after their first battle with Pennywise the Dancing Clown aka. IT.
Bill Skarsgård is all but formally confirmed to return as Pennywise in the IT movie sequel, with Andy Muschietti once again directing from an adapted script written by Gary Dauberman. Chastain was the favorite to play the grownup Beverly in the film even before the news became semi-official, and has even been featured in multiple IT: Chapter 2 fan trailers at this stage. It now appears that she won’t be the only A-lister actor playing a Loser in the followup either.
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Variety is reporting that McAvoy and Hader are in talks to play the grownup versions of (respectively) Bill Denbrough and Richie Tozier in IT: Chapter 2. The characters were portrayed as kids in the first IT movie by Jaeden Lieberher and Finn Wolfhard, both of whom are expected to return along with the other young Losers’ Club actors in Chapter 2 via flashbacks. While Muschietti teased as much with a recent social media update alluding to the start of production on Chapter 2, Variety‘s sources are cautioning that the deal is still being worked out on that front.
IT: Chapter 2 will pick up in 2016, as the now forty-something Losers come to realize that Pennywise has resurfaced and they must all return to Derry, Maine, in order to battle and hopefully defeat him at last. In King’s original novel, Bill grows up to become a horror writer still traumatized by what happened to his brother Georgie all those years before. Richie, meanwhile, now works as a disc jockey in Los Angeles, his smart aleck attitude and penchant for foul-mouthed humor still mostly intact.
McAvoy tends to excel at dramatic acting roles whereas Hader has shown a real knack for combining drama and comedy with his performances, mostly recently on HBO’s acclaimed hitman comedy/drama TV series Barry. Like Chastain, they both sound like natural picks for their respective roles in IT: Chapter 2 and further suggest that the sequel could either match or exceed the quality of its predecessor. IT producer Roy Lee has confirmed that Chapter 2 aims to begin filming in July, so it shouldn’t be long before the remaining four adult Losers have been cast too.