McAvoy, Chastain, Hader Lead the Adult Losers in “IT Chapter Two” (Opens Sep 4)
Twenty-seven years after the Losers’ Club defeated Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more, in Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema’s “IT Chapter Two.” Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, people are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all…putting them directly in the path of the shape-shifting clown that has become deadlier than ever.
To play the adult Losers, the filmmakers has cast James McAvoy as Bill, Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Bill Hader as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie, and Andy Bean as Stanley.
(Watch the film’s new spot at https://youtu.be/OoRwWCq_Wa4.)
As far as outward appearances go, most of the grown Losers present as accomplished adults in their lives far from Derry. Bill Denbrough is a best-selling horror author and screenwriter, while Beverly Marsh co-owns a women’s fashion line with her husband. Richie Tozier is a popular stand-up comic, and Ben Hanscom runs his own commercial architecture firm. Eddie Kaspbrak is a New York senior risk assessor, and Stanley Uris is an accountant. The only exception is Mike Hanlon, who never moved away from his hometown and has been living in the clock tower above the library, where he works as an assistant librarian.
Outward appearances, however, don’t paint the full picture. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman observes, “When we are reintroduced to the Losers, there is something very incomplete to them. They don’t remember that they’re pieces to a puzzle that only takes shape when they are all together. So, they all have this missing ‘thing,’ and what they don’t yet understand is that the thing that’s missing is each other. When they are all called back to Derry and reunite, they suddenly find themselves feeling whole again…more like themselves. They are the way they should be but haven’t been for a very long time.”
James McAvoy reflects on the momentous phone call his character, Bill Denbrough, receives from Mike Hanlon, noting, “What’s the worst phone call you can get? Your kid’s been in an accident. Your parents have died. Take all that and multiply it by a hundred. He doesn’t remember Mike and he doesn’t remember Derry that well—he knows that he’s from there, but it’s a blur, really. Mike tells him something has returned and Bill doesn’t really know why, but he knows he has to go back. And he’s suddenly reminded of this incredible, terrible, all-consuming guilt that he has carried for years. It’s the driving force of everything in Bill’s life, his guilt and feelings of worthlessness. The source of it has never been clear. Is he a schlocky writer? A bad husband? At that moment, he finally remembers Georgie and his perceived role in his brother’s death. That’s the wellspring of everything he’s ever felt.”
When Beverly takes the late-night, out-of-the-blue phone call from Mike, she is similarly flooded with emotions, many of them unidentifiable…at first.
Chastain says, “Twenty-seven years later, Beverly has long since left Derry and forgotten about her childhood, all of the memories of her past: Pennywise; Bill, Ben and the Losers; all of it, including a lot of her strength. She has kept repeating abusive relationships, like the one she had with her father as a child. Something shakes her out of that cycle at the beginning of the film—she realizes there is a far greater fear than one human being at home, and she goes back to Derry to figure it out.”
Unlike the others, Richie’s emotional reaction to the call home is direct and honest. Bill Hader says, “He literally pukes everywhere—that’s my first scene. Andy and I talked a lot in the beginning about Richie being the audience surrogate. Well, at least a clear-headed, practical audience member. ‘Oh, the killer clown is back? Look, my car’s right here!’ I related to Richie, because he’s like me in that aspect. I usually wonder why a character is sticking around a dangerous situation. And Richie has always had a lot of denial. There’s stuff about his past that he’s never wanted to face so, of course, he’s petrified that that will be what Pennywise latches onto. It’s natural that his response would be to run. But even though he’s scared, he stays, because Losers stick together.”
In Philippine cinemas September 4, “IT Chapter Two” is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.