Mike Kaye: Hello Geeks + Gamers, and welcome to a special casting couch roundtable discussion, where we choose our best candidates for an upcoming feature film. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to bookmark this page and come back later, as there are a few spoilers ahead. As for those who saw the film, you’ll notice the subtitle at the start of the movie’s end credits says “Chapter One.” That’s because the novel on which It is based was split in half. The first half of the novel focuses on the Losers Club when they were kids, while the second half skips ahead to 27 years later, as the Losers reunite as adults. Casting for their adult counterparts has not been announced yet, but until then, joining me to speculate on the imposing task of casting the Losers Club is fellow contributor, Mike Calkins.
Mike Calkins: I’m excited to be here, and I can’t wait to dive into this casting discussion!
MK: Before we begin, I’d like to hear your brief thoughts on Chapter One. Personally, I absolutely adored it. As of this writing, I’ve now seen it twice on the big screen, and it’s everything I wanted to see from a big screen adaptation of the popular Stephen King novel. The way Chapter One went about casting the Losers Club was pretty spot on, but my favorite picks were definitely Finn Wolfhard as Ritchie and Jaeden Lieberher as Bill. What about you?
MC: First off, I adored this film all the way around. I think it’s one of the best horror films of the decade. My favorites of the Losers were also Finn Wolfhard as Ritchie and Jaeden Lieberher as Bill, along with Sophie Lillis as Beverly. That being said, I found the casting in this film to be stellar.
MK: Casting Chapter 2 is not going to be easy, but hey, I’m up for a good challenge! Let’s get the one that everyone is already talking about out of the way: Amy Adams as Beverly. Do you agree with this, and if not, who would be your pick?
MC: I’d be down to see Adams in the role. The only other alternative that springs to mind is Jessica Chastain. Either one would work for me, since they’re both incredible actresses.
MK: I cannot disagree with you there. Both Chastain and Adams are two of my favorite actresses working today. In fact, Chastain already has an established relationship with director Andy Muscietti, who cast her in the lead for his feature debut Mama. But there’s a more tangible argument for Amy Adams, as her and Lillis share an uncanny resemblance. Hell, there’s even a line of dialogue where a sales clerk compared her to Lois Lane, a character who Adams currently portrays in the DCEU. Next up, I want to talk about my choice to play Bill: Edward Norton. He might skew a tad older by a few years, but he just fits the character too well. Who is your adult Bill?
MC: This just came to my mind, but I’d kill to see Ben Affleck as Bill. It would be both a very interesting departure from his normal characters, but still one I can see him slipping into. Might have to shed some of that Bat-Muscle, but I think he’d kill it. John Krasinski would also be a top choice for me.
MK: I like where your head is at with casting an Affleck as one of the losers. In fact, something I just thought of recently was Casey Affleck as Stan. Casey excels at playing characters who are a little more soft spoken, and you could argue that Stan fits that description quite well. My alternate choice would be Jason Schwartzman. He might be a tad on the young side, but he’s a good enough actor that he’d be believable as this character. Next up, we have Ben, who by Part 2, has grown out of being the chubby new kid on the block. My gut tells me the role should go to Chris Pratt but who else would you like to see instead?
MC: Prepare for immense confusion, but I want to see Tom Hardy in this role. Pratt makes all the sense in the world though. Personally, Hardy is my favorite actor, but setting that aside I just feel like this is one of those roles that he could use with some of the charm he has, but also utilize his outstanding facial expressions. He excels at that form of acting, and pairing that with Ben’s character I feel that could be really great.
MK: Wow, I didn’t know how badly I wanted that until just now. WB, please make that happen! Ben is the one character out of all the Losers that almost requires a complete reinvention. Other characters, such as Ritchie, are going to be a lot tougher to cast, especially seeing how good Finn Wolfhard was as Young Ritchie. I’m going to leave this one entirely up to you, hit me with some names.
MC: Alright, first I’ll start with one that just flew into my mind, and that’s Colin Farrell. He delivers banter so well (see In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths) and he’s generally really good at keeping his accent in check. My other choice is Jake Gyllenhaal. I mean, he’s an actor of immense caliber but also really great at delivering dialogue. I’d love to see him take on Ritchie.
MK: Those are some pretty great choices. During an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, the cast was asked to cast their adult counterparts, and Finn Wolfhard suggested Bill Hader for Ritchie. It’s of course inspired casting to grab a real comedian for this character, and Hader has proven he’s got some dramatic chops in him such as the criminally underrated 2014 film The Skeleton Twins. Ok, 5 Losers down, 2 more to go. I thought of a rather hilarious choice for Eddie, and that’s Charlie Day. Who would you choose for this character?
MC: I’d be going more conventional, but James McAvoy would do a killer job in just about anything, especially as Eddie. I also want to point out that if you look up the cast from It, Jack Dylan Grazer’s picture looks a heck of a lot like our own Joshua Volkers.
MK: You’re right, I do see the striking resemblance. Last but not least, we have the outsider, Mike Hamlon. This is honestly the hardest one for me to cast, because there are plenty of talented African American actors who would be perfect for this role, but it all comes down to narrowing which one fits the best. Any ideas, Calkins?
MC: Jeez. There are a lot of the usual suspects that spring to mind. Jamie Foxx, Idris Elba, I’d want to throw Trevante Rhodes from last years Moonlight, but he might be a smidge too young. Who isn’t too young though? Mahershala Ali. I could see him coming in and killing it. Any of those would be my choices at this point.
MK: Mahershala Ali is a fantastic choice, and he’s the perfect age for adult Mike. Another possible candidate could be Chiwatel Ejiofor. Both actors are in their 40’s, so they at least are in the right age range. I know it sounds like a copout answer, but this is the one time during our casting couch discussion where I’ll defer to “just get an unknown” for now.
And that should just about wrap things up. Now it’s up to you guys at home, who would YOU like to see cast as the adult versions of the Losers Club? Let’s keep this conversation going over on the Geeks + Gamers Facebook. Thank you Mike Calkins for helping me brainstorm on the casting couch, where can people find you on social media?
MC: You can find me at Facebook just by my name, on Twitter @iKindaSortaNerd, on Letterboxd @MikeCalkins, and ikindasortanerdshow on Instagram. You can also find me on Youtube under iKindaSortaNerdShow! Thanks for having me, Michael!
MK: You’re welcome back anytime, Calkins! You guys can find me simply by searching my name on Facebook, on Twitter @CaptainKaye42, and Letterboxd @CoachKaye42. Thank you once again for visiting Geeksandgamers.com, your one-stop shop for all things geek related.