5.24.18 UPDATE! Jay Ryan will be playing Ben Hanscom. Ever heard of Jay? Me neither! But he looks like a bad hombre.
OK… maybe I just don’t watch enough CW. Jay Ryan is best known for his role as the titular “Beast” Vincent Keller, but like most all the CW shows, he is another very handsome man with tween appeal (Think Stephen Ammel, Jared Padalecki, or Ian Somerhalder) this guy is pure beefcake. Or, perhaps since he’s a Kiwi… sheepcake. But not really much of a beast. Sorry, a scar on your face doesn’t shift you from swoony to scary. I’ll take Ron Perlman, please! Anyhow, it’s fairly well established that adorable pudgy Ben grows up to be a leaner, meaner adult, and Jay Ryan fits the bill. It also puts a lesser known actor into a truly plum role and judging from a number of comments we’ve already gotten about how the casting should play out, that should please a number of you. That leaves Mike, as the last member of the Loser’s Club to get the grown-up casting. Still holding out for David Oyelowo!
The adult cast for the second It movie is rounding out. Andy Bean has joint to play Stanley Uris, and James Ransone has been added to play Eddie Kaspbrak.
According to Variety, two more cast members have been added to It Chapter 2. This isn’t really a sequel, so much as it is the second half of the Stephen King tome, as we follow the story of the Loser’s Club twenty-seven years later when demonic Pennywise returns to terrorize the town of Derry. Much attention and fan-casting has taken place for the adult versions of the tween cast that so many people fell in love with. It’s been a bit of a cottage industry, guessing who Warner Brothers and Director Andy Muschietti will pick to be the adult leads.
In the case of Stanley and Eddie, the actors they picked do have a strong semblance to the younger actors but are lesser known actors. Andy Bean, most recently starring in the HBO Drama, Here and Now will be taking on the role of the damaged and nervous Stanley, whom we last saw getting mauled by Pennywise, and in a rough place emotionally. Young Stanley was portrayed by Wyatt Oleff, whose most memorable moments involved his aversion to the “Scream” like painting in his dad’s synagogue.
James Ransone is no stranger to horror films, as he starred as the Deputy (curiously not given more of a name given the prominence of the role) in Sinister and Sinister 2. He looks strikingly like Jacky Dylan Grazer (who will be Billy Batson in the DC Comics movie SHAZAM! in production now). Same eyes! Same eyebrows! We’ll see if Ransone can achieve the same manic pathos that Grazer achieved as the hypochondriac but confident younger Eddie. For Both Bean and Ransone, these have the chance to be really big break out roles for their careers, given that the other three members who have been cast are Hollywood A-list big hitters.
Jessica Chastain has already signed on to be the grown-up version of Sophia Lillis’ Beverly Marsh. This was a no-brainer casting, as Lillis was a break-out star for her efforts in the first film, and Chastain brings the same combination of sparkle, whimsy, and seriousness to her roles that Lillis displayed. There are only a few actresses who have the credentials and drawing power of Chastain in Hollywood, and this was a coup for Muschietti.
James McAvoy is in contract negotiations to take on the role of Loser’s leader Bill Denbrough. Another fantastic combination of likeness and acting prowess. McAvoy will be doing double duty on the horror front, as he will be returning for the Split/Unbreakable sequel Glass. I believe McAvoy will be really well suited for playing the inquisitive, thoughtful, and awkward Bill, that Jaeden Lieberher brought to the screen for the first movie. Money well spent, WB, if you can land McAvoy!
Bill Hader is also in negotiations with WB to play smart-ass Richie, previously played by Finn Wolfhard, in a wonderfully raunchy take that runs counter to his sweet and earnest role as Mike in Stranger Things. Hader is less of a physical doppelganger than he is a perfect personality type for Richie. I would pay good money to see Bill Hader in a bowl cut!
Bill Skarsgard, lazy eye and all, who pulled off the miracle of one-upping the role that Tim Curry made famous (and many doubted could ever be matched), will be back as Pennywise. That leaves the roles of Ben and Mike left to be filled. Sorry… no Georgie this time around!
Scariest Things Casting Wish List
Lots of fans are hoping for Chris Pratt or Jerry O’Connell to play the chubby to leading man chrysalis that Ben pulls off. Jeremy Ray Taylor, who played Ben in It has been lobbying for Pratt. In the 1990’s TV show, John Ritter took the role. I think that Pratt or O’Connell would be a bit too on-the-nose for the role. Maybe… Vin Diesel? I kid! I kid! Not Vin. Now that The Expanse has been canceled, I think Wes Chatham (Amos) would be great… he’s a bit of a bigger dude. Another actor who would be interesting would be Jimmi Simpson from Westworld (William) who plays a smart, empathetic and caring character very well… if the casting director wants to go full skinny for the role. 5.24.18 Update: So much for that prognostication! Welcome aboard Jay Ryan!
For Mike, the buzz has been about David Oyelowo (Selma, Red Tails), and I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better match for Chosen Jacobs, and he brings a real solemnity and gravitas to the table. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) would be another good pick… and a similarly high-profile actor to assume the role. Both have round faces too and both about the right age to take the role as well. (the Late thirties)
So… anybody you think would make for a good Ben or Mike to round out the cast? It probably won’t be long before they get cast! Scariest Things will keep you posted.