Casting 'It: Chapter 2' – Here's Who Should Play The Adult Losers' Club In The 'It' Sequel

Even before director Andy Muschietti's It hit theaters and made the kind of money usually reserved for superhero movies, there was talk of a sequel. And how could there not be? The film adapts only half of Stephen King's massive 1,200 page novel, eschewing the storyline that follows the grown-up "Losers' Club" as they reassemble 27 years later to finish Pennywise (or rather, It) off once and for all.

So that means the sequel has a tough act to follow when it comes to casting. The kid actors in It are wonderful and their chemistry feels real and they power the beautiful coming-of-age story that wins your heart between the scares. Casting their adult counterparts and doing justice to these original performances is going to be tricky.

And that's why we're here to help.

Jacob Hall, Ben Pearson, and Ethan Anderton teamed up brainstorm who they'd cast as the grown-up Losers in It: Chapter 2. We only had one real rule: the casting had to be somewhat realistic, actors who you could actually see joining the project and not an ensemble of overpriced movie stars. Jacob and Ben worked from having read the original book; Ethan made his choices based purely on the child performances themselves (with limited guidance from the King fans on staff).

Note: This article contains details from Stephen King's original novel that have not yet been revealed in the film adaptation. Everything written here occurs early enough in the "adult" section of the story that we have decided that knowledge of these plot points will not ruin the experience for new fans. However, those wanting to go in completely blind should proceed with caution.

losers club kids bill

Bill Denbrough

The Kid We Know: The leader of the Losers' Club whose stutter sometimes masks what a brave, loyal, and noble friend he is to those who look to him for guidance.

The Adult We'll Meet: A massively successful horror novelist, happily married and adapting one of his books into a screenplay. His stutter is gone. Until he gets a phone call from Mike Hanlon...

casting adult losers club james badge dale

Option 1: James Badge Dale

Bill Denbrough demands an actor who's soft-spoken but commanding, a kind of presence that feels as reassuring as it does compassionate. This is a side of James Badge Dale, an actor who has flirted with movie stardom several times while kicking ass in supporting roles, that I would like to see. Casting a "movie star" in this role may feel tempting, but it's Bill's anonymity, his basic human decency, that makes him a compelling hero. There's an everyman quality to Dale that feels just right for the grown-up Bill. He also has a soft-spoken toughness about him, so watching his Bill revisit – and get broken by – his childhood traumas should make for a truly unsettling experience. (Jacob Hall)

Mark Duplass It

Option 2: Mark Duplass

Bill can sometimes be a hard character to picture in King's novel. The rest of the Losers' Club looks to him for guidance, and he has an ineffable quality of leadership that's difficult to pin down. But Bill's also the straight man of the group, so in addition to looking somewhat like an older version of Jaeden Lieberher, my ideal adult version of the character is an actor who's good at playing a regular guy but also has the ability to take things to the next level when called upon. Duplass checks all of those boxes. He can express the steely determination Bill has to have, and the level-headedness to corral his fellow Losers and keep them focused on their ultimate goal. Bonus: we catch up with adult Bill working as a writer on a Hollywood screenplay, and considering all of the actual writing Duplass has done in his career, that's a nice little meta connection. Plus there's the practicality of it all: Duplass would be way cheaper to hire than an A-list superstar. (Ben Pearson)

Michael C. Hall

Option 3: Michael C. Hall

Even though Bill is the one who convinces the Losers' Club to follow Pennywise down into his sewer layer, there's a timidity to his bravery in the face of danger. Picturing Bill as an adult who must face that fear again, I can't think of anyone better than Michael C. Hall to inherit the part. On the Showtime series Dexter, Hall was mostly in control as the serial killer of people with questionable morals. But he also brought with him a nervous uncertainty due to his concern about getting caught. Though Bill has lost his stutter and has become a successful novelist not unlike Stephen King, the character needs that hint of fear to fall back on, and Hall can play that perfectly. (Ethan Anderton)

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Beverly Marsh

The Kid We Know: The lone girl amongst the Losers, whose battle with the evil clown in the sewers has nothing on her monstrous, abusive father.

The Adult We'll Meet: A successful fashion designer living in Chicago, Illinois who, in an echo of her childhood trauma, is in an abusive relationship with her husband and business partner.

casting adult losers club jessica chastain

Option 1: Jessica Chastain

In many ways, Jessica Chastain feels like the "easy" choice to the adult Beverly, but there's a strong chance that she's also the right choice. In addition to looking very much like a grown-up version of Sophia Lillis, she previously worked with director Andy Muschietti on his first feature film, the horror movie Mama. So Chastain already has a relationship with the director and she's not above starring in a horror movie and she's a tremendous actress who can capture the nuances of adult Beverly, a troubled woman at war with the literal ghosts of her past. (Jacob Hall)

Bryce Dallas Howard It

Option 2: Bryce Dallas Howard

When we meet adult Beverly in the book, she's stuck in an abusive relationship with her husband – a man she later admits reminded her of her own father. (Remember the dirtbag dad in the movie? He's way worse in the book.) Bryce Dallas Howard has a passivity and vulnerability that fits Bev's older persona, but she also has a quiet strength that makes her a natural fit to play a pushover who slowly comes into her own and takes her life back into her own hands. The characters begin to slip back into their Losers' Club dynamic from their youth when they reunite as adults, and I think Howard could pick up where Sophia Lillis left off. I can picture Howard's face as a flood of repressed memories rush back to Beverly about what the Losers endured as kids, a mixture of terror, shock, anguish, and dread flashing through her all at once. She'd ace it. (Ben Pearson)

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Option 3: Maggie Gyllenhaal

The top choices for playing Beverly Marsh go for three of the most popular red-haired actresses working today: Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain and Amy Adams. They're names have all been thrown around for the role because they're great in front of the camera and they have naturally red hair. But I'd like to go outside of the latter physical detail and pick someone who has the acting chops to knock the role out of the park, even if she lacks the freckles. Maggie Gyllenhaal has both the confidence and nuance in her performances to play a character like Beverly Marsh, especially as a grown woman who has been beaten down, literally and metaphorically, by both her past and her present. (Ethan Anderton)

losers club kids ben

Ben Hanscom

The Kid We Know: The lonely, chubby, creative kid who hides away in the library to avoid bullies (and learns all about Derry's terrible history in the process).

The Adult We'll Meet: A lauded and creative architect who lost all of that excess weight after taking up running.

casting adult losers club ethan embry

Option 1: Ethan Embry

Sometimes, kids grow up in surprising ways. In the pages of Stephen King's It, chubby and shy little Ben Hanscom grows into a something of a stud, burning off his weight through running and weaponizing his imagination to become a successful architect. So why not cast an actor whose transformation from child actor into adulthood has proven equally surprising? In genre movies like Cheap Thrills and The Devil's Candy, Ethan Embry has embraced horrifying material with gusto, undergoing physical transformations that make you do a double take. This is the kid from Empire Records and Vegas Vacation? Embry has very little in common with Jeremy Ray Taylor, but that's kind of the point. Ben grows up to reinvent himself completely on a physical level and trying to find that shy, fat kid in this handsome and strapping guy is like trying to find that former child actor in a performer who has proven himself willing to swing for the fences in some very dark material. (Jacob Hall)

Josh Hartnett It

Option 2: Josh Hartnett

Here's another choice I think strikes a nice balance between being a good fit for the character and actually being achievable for the production without racking up extra millions in actor salaries. Scoff if you must, but Hartnett is a talented actor who works much better in supporting roles than as the leading man Hollywood tried to turn him into a decade or so ago. (Though I will always and forever stick up for his star turn in Lucky Number Slevin.) I've seen hints of the sweetness Jeremy Ray Taylor brought to young Ben Hanscomb in other Hartnett roles, and while I haven't seen any of Penny Dreadful myself, I've heard he fit right in to that show's supernatural world. I'm convinced he could be a good fit for the twisted world of Derry, too. (Ben Pearson)

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Option 3: Jerry O'Connell

Who better to play the adult version of the chubby kid in the Losers' Club than the actor who played the chubby kid in the group of friends from the adaptation of Stephen King's Stand By Me? Sure, Jerry O'Connell may not be considered to be the stud that he was a decade or so ago, and his career isn't exactly at a high point, but he's still a former fat kid who grew up to be a handsome dude. It gives him an opportunity to show off that he's still quite the solid actor, and it's a cool, meta bit of casting. Don't forget that Jerry O'Connell already has horror sequel experience having played Sidney Prescott's boyfriend in Scream 2. (Ethan Anderton)

losers club kids richie

Richie Tozier

The Kid We Know: The loudmouth jokester with a bad accent or dumb joke for just about every occasion.

The Adult We'll Meet: A popular radio DJ (stand-up comedian in the TV miniseries) known for his large collection of absurd and hilarious voices...and for his number of failed relationships.

casting adult losers club bill hader

Option 1: Bill Hader

As Richie Tozier, Finn Wolfhard steals all of his scenes in It – being a class clown with a mouth that doesn't know when to stop moving has its advantages when it's endearing. And since the character grows up to make a living at being a total ham, it's only appropriate that they cast the biggest ham of them all: Bill Hader. The Saturday Night Live veteran is one of the most talented impersonators and mimics of the past few decades, so there is no one better suited to play the grown-up Richie, who makes his living behind a microphone with his endlessly malleable voice. While he's not widely known for his dramatic fare, Hader is has proven himself exceptional when he steps outside of the genre where he made his name. Plus, watching someone as effortlessly funny as Hader channel their fear on screen, to watch his wisecracks fail in the face of pure evil, should be harrowing. (Jacob Hall)

Ike Barinholtz It

Option 2: Ike Barinholtz

Through movies like Neighbors and his work on The Mindy Project, Barinholtz has proven himself to be a go-to guy for funny one-liners and cheesy jokes, which fits Richie Tozier like a glove. Barinholtz could handle the comedic aspect of the character without breaking a sweat, and I've felt like he's been overdue to show up in a horror movie for quite some time, so this seems is a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. There's a thin line between making goofy faces and making terrified ones, and I think playing an adult Richie would be a good opportunity for Barinholtz to expand his range and bring to life a character so memorably embodied by Finn Wolfhard in Chapter One. (Ben Pearson)

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Option 3: Kyle Mooney

At 33 years old, Kyle Mooney is a bit on the younger side to be playing a character in their late 30s. But all it takes is some five o'clock shadow and he looks much older. Mooney is known for playing socially awkward and quirky characters on Saturday Night Live and more recently the outstanding indie Brigsby Bear. But he also has a more bombastic, energetic side that he's brought out on several occasions that would fit in line perfectly with the radio shock jock personality that Richie takes on in the book. Plus, Mooney has an extensive improv background, and he can spout off plenty of great one-liners to keep up with Finn Wolfhard's performance from the first movie. (Ethan Anderton)

losers club kids eddie

Eddie Kaspbrak

The Kid We Know: The small, skinny kid whose fear of the world has been instilled in him by an overly protective mother who is doing more harm than good.

The Adult We'll Meet: The owner of a limousine company, married to an overbearing woman with shades of his own mother, whose childhood fear of sickness and disease has only grown more stifling over the years.

casting adult losers club adam scott

Option 1: Adam Scott

One of the most pleasant surprises of It is Jack Dylan Grazer's Eddie. On the page, Eddie is very much a sad sack, a kid who has been raised to fear every speck of dirt and blade of grass by his fearful mother. But Grazer transforms Eddie's neuroses into comedic gold, finding the sad and sweet humor in the character. So why not cast a comedian in the part and let the sadness come between laughs? Why not cast the great Adam Scott, whose deadpan is a secret weapon of so many movies? He'd be a departure from the page, but he'd certainly be in line with how he's portrayed in the first movie. Plus, I'd love to see Scott get flung into a real horror movie after flirting with the genre in Little Evil. (Jacob Hall)

Topher Grace It

Option 2: Topher Grace

Jack Dylan Grazer's neurotic take on Eddie was my favorite of all the young actors' performances in Chapter One, so I wanted to make sure whoever takes over this role can deliver similarly frenzied behavior as an adult. Topher Grace strikes me as that kind of actor, capable of firing off jokes while puffing on an inhaler and depicting anxiety with a dash of heroism when needed. In the book, adult Eddie drives a limo for work and is married to a woman who reminds him of his mother (King clearly had some weird Oedipal stuff on his mind at the time he wrote this), and I'm picturing a beleaguered Topher Grace behind the wheel, reluctantly realizing he has to return to Derry to face his biggest childhood fear once again. (Ben Pearson)

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Option 3: Fred Savage

The eccentricity and fast-talking personality that Jack Dylan Grazer brought to life as Eddie in the first chapter of It is only going to get worse with age. Personally, I can't think of anyone better than Fred Savage to take the role of Eddie, allowing him to further blossom as an actor from the childhood roles he became famous for in the late 1980s and early 1990s, especially The Wonder Years. Savage's face is enough to make me think he's the perfect adult to play a grown up Eddie, but it's also his manner of speaking that is the real selling point for me. Plus, it's been awhile since we've seen Savage do anything like this, and it would be a fascinating bit of casting. (Ethan Anderton)

losers club kids mike

Mike Hanlon

The Kid We Know: The homeschooled kid, and one of the few black kids in all of Derry, whose run-in with Henry Bowers makes him an instant member of the Losers' Club.

The Adult We'll Meet: The only member of the Losers' Club to remain behind in Derry, he's the town librarian and has dedicated his life to tracking the town's evil history...and waiting for It to return.

casting adult losers club sterling k. brown

Option 1: Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown is having a moment and the It sequel should capitalize on it posthaste. The American Crime Story and This is Us star will soon appear before much larger audiences in major releases like Black Panther and The Predator. His star is on the rise. In any case, he'd be perfect for Mike Hanlon, the lone member of the Losers' Club who remains behind in Derry to track the city's terrifying history and prepare for the return of It. While Chosen Jacobs gets the short end of the stick as Mike in part one, the sequel should go a long way to redeeming the character – a smart, kind, and determined man who has dedicated his life (and destroyed so many of his future prospects) to keeping a promise. Brown, so charming and so smart and so naturally funny in even the grimmest scenarios, would be perfect. (Jacob Hall)

Chiwetel Ejiofor It

Option 2: Chiwetel Ejiofor

As the Losers grow up, they all leave town: all except Mike Hanlon, who stays behind and becomes Derry's librarian. In King's novel, it's Mike, not Ben, who knows all about Derry's horrific history, and when a new batch of kids goes missing 27 years after he and his friends "defeated" Pennywise, Mike calls the gang back together to try to finish the job once and for all. In my mind, Ejiofor is an ideal candidate. We know Chapter Two is going to make Mike the glue of the group that brings them all back together, and while everyone else has been out of Derry, he's been learning about the history of It. Sure, Ejiofor could play a regular intellectual, but that'd be too easy: but an intellectual weighed down by the enormity of a town secret he learned by becoming a junkie to give him visions of the origins of an evil entity, and plagued with the knowledge that he and his childhood friends are the only ones who can stop it? Now that sounds like a challenge, and one this particular actor could turn into something haunting and memorable. (Ben Pearson)

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Option 3: Jordan Peele

We know that Jordan Peele can director horror after his turn behind the camera with the acclaimed thriller Get Out from earlier this year. But now I want to see the comedian get back in front of the camera for some scares by playing Mike Hanlon. Director Andy Muschietti has said that Mike becomes obsessed with figuring out how to defeat Pennywise, which includes experimenting with some mind-altering drugs. Knowing the range of characters Peele has played on his own sketch series Key & Peele, it's not hard to imagine the actor creating a character who feels like his mind is constantly wandering while also having a powerful intensity to defeat the evil entity known as It. This could be yet another way for Peele to show his dynamic range and make his career even more fruitful. (Ethan Anderton)

losers club kids stan

Stanley Uris

The Kid We Know: The level-headed Jewish kid who has to balance preparing for his Bar Mitzvah with fighting the monster that wants to devour him.

The Adult We'll Meet: A happily married accountant living in Atlanta, Georgia, he takes a phone call from Mike Hanlon and chooses to slash his own wrists rather than return to Derry to confront It once more.

casting adult losers club seth rogen

Option 1: Seth Rogen

When I set out to select actors for this list, I determined not to use any huge names. No one unrealistic. However, I strongly believe there is room for a little bit of stunt casting when it comes to Stanley Uris. Since poor Stan decides to kill himself rather than return to Derry, casting a recognizable face, a friendly and likable face, only to watch him vanish into a pit of despair and desperation and take his own life within moments, could make for a remarkable scene in the sequel. So while the choice of Seth Rogen began as a joke when I started brainstorming Jewish actors to fill the shoes of Wyatt Oleff, it lingered in the back of my mind until it stuck. It would be truly painful to watch Rogen, with his mischievous grin and contagious laugh, slit his wrists in a bathtub. It would certainly set a tone. (Jacob Hall)

Michael Rosenbaum It

Option 2: Michael Rosenbaum

I'll be real with you: I haven't really seen Michael Rosenbaum in much of anything since the end of Smallville back in 2011. But he made such a huge impression on me in that show with his fantastic interpretation of Lex Luthor that he's always been with me, waiting for the perfect time to toss him onto a fan-casting list just like this one. While Jacob went with a stunt casting option, I went the other way. Rosenbaum isn't a household name, but I feel like this could be a defining moment in his career that get people to take notice of him in a way they didn't before. Think about Donnie Walhberg's disturbing performance in The Sixth Sense; Stan's screen time in the sequel may be small, but it could leave people scared and scarred – and I think Rosenbaum is the right conduit to make that happen. (Ben Pearson)

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Option 3: Jesse Eisenberg

Jessie Eisenberg is a pretty big star now, which might make him unattainable for a horror sequel, even one following up a movie as successful as the first chapter. But considering the fact that the role of Stan is a small one, due to the fate he creates for himself, there's a chance the studio could get away with putting a big name in the role and surprising those audience members who don't know what becomes of Stan by getting rid of such a big name early on. It would be like killing Drew Barrymore in the opening sequence from Scream in a way. Plus, Eisenberg has the right demeanor to expand upon what Wyatt Oleff brought to the able in the first movie. (Ethan Anderton)