“Who will play the adult Losers' Club?” was a persistent question in the making and release of Andy Muschietti’s IT two years ago, and while there were ultimately many suggestions for each role, there really was only one choice to play Richie: Bill Hader. Not only has the actor proven to be an immensely capable performer able to operate in all genres, but he was also just an unbelievably natural fit to play an adult version of Finn Wolfhard’s character (not to mention the personal choice of the young actor himself).
At the end of the day, the good news is that this bit of perfect casting was executed, with Bill Hader signing on to make IT CHAPTER TWO in summer 2018 — but it wasn’t exactly easy to make the whole thing work.
Sitting down with CinemaBlend recently to discuss the making of the film, producer Barbara Muschietti explained that Bill Hader was really the only actor production wanted for the part of Richie, and while she couldn’t quite remember who was the first person to suggest him for the role, once that idea was out in the universe there was no other choice that would be deemed satisfactory.
You know, we've been fans of Bill Hader forever. Really. We are in awe of his past work. And then of course 'Barry' blew our socks off. He was always in the conversation. I really don't remember — it may have been Finn, but I don't know. But the second that we started casting seriously, there was no plan B. We had to get Bill.
Bill Hader is indeed immensely talented, which is great, but there is one downside: He is exceptionally busy. In addition to being a regular presence on the big screen, particularly doing voice roles for animated features, he is also a massive creative force behind the HBO series "Barry," which not only has him playing the titular role, but also credited as a producer, director, writer and co-creator.
The fact that Bill Hader is so invested in his projects made him a bit hard to wrangle for IT CHAPTER TWO, as the planned production schedule for the film didn’t quite work with what the actor had planned on his calendar. The good news, though, as discussed by Barbara Muschietti, is that the whole situation proved just fluid enough to make everything work out.
It was tricky because he was already prepping the second season of 'Barry.' And he's a prolific, busy writer, producer, director, actor. But he really wanted to do it. So his agent, Bill, Andy and I just sorted through everything, and HBO very gracefully pushed the start of the show two weeks so we could make it happen. The rest is history, and his performance is extraordinary.
You’ll be able to see this extraordinary performance very soon, as IT CHAPTER TWO — which co-stars James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Isaiah Mustafa, Andy Bean, Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff and Bill Skarsgård — hits theatres on September 6.