VARIETY – Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to star in New Line’s “It” sequel as the adult version of Beverly, sources tell Variety.
Director Andy Muschietti is expected to return, though his deal to helm has not yet closed. Gary Dauberman will pen the script. Beverly was played by Sophia Lillis in the 2017 horror hit.
Sources stress that negotiations are early and that the script is still being worked on, but both sides have officially begun discussing her coming on to the project. Bill Skarsgard is also expected to return as Pennywise. The sequel will bow on Sept. 6, 2019, with production expected to start this summer.
Chastain has been linked to the sequel for some time following its monster opening weekend, as the Muschiettis mentioned her in an interview with Variety as a top choice to play adult Beverly in the sequel. Rumors even surfaced of a post-credits scene in which Chastain could have made a cameo, though that never came to fruition.
Another layer to the rumors: Chastain has worked with Muschietti before, having starred in his first studio hit, “Mama.”
Despite the speculation, New Line and Chastain had not been in official talks until recent weeks. The studio sees the “It” sequel as a big priority, however, as it was one of the top movies of 2017 and became the largest-grossing horror film of all time.
“Chapter One” of “It” followed the first half of Stephen King’s eponymous novel, telling the story of a group of children who are terrorized by Pennywise the Clown and forced to face their own demons to defeat him. “Chapter Two” will follow the last half of the novel, when the characters return to their hometown years later as adults to face Pennywise once again. Chastain would be the first big star attached to the sequel, though the Muschiettis have said that they would hope to bring back the original young stars for flashback scenes.
Chastain is coming off a Golden Globe-nominated performance in “Molly’s Game,” and is expected to star in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” later this year. She also recently became attached to a Universal comedy opposite Octavia Spencer. She is repped by CAA and Mosaic.