May 16, 2018
The ‘IT: Chapter 2’ Cast Keeps Getting Better
James Ransone’s addition is further proof this sequel is heading in the right direction.
After enlisting Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, it looked like the casting of IT: Chapter Two from director Andy Muschietti was coming together nicely and falling in line with fan-casting suggestions. That means it makes a lot of sense for the sequel to add James Ransone as adult Eddie Kaspbrak, as revealed by the actor in a since-deleted tweet.
The internet, of course, couldn’t keep this to themselves and reactions have started to pour in. Ransone was a popular suggestion from fans; a lot of people, myself included, would argue that no other actor even comes close to being as well suited for the part. For starters, Ransone looks the part of a grown-up version of Jack Dylan Grazer, who played young Eddie in the first film. He’s also a gifted scene-stealer who knows how to stand out in supporting roles. From his breakout performance as Ziggy Sobotka on The Wire in 2003 to his memorable turn as Chester, the boyfriend/pimp of Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), in Sean Baker’s Tangerine, Ransone has proven himself as an actor that can make the most of any role he’s given.
IT won’t be the actor’s first foray into horror, but it could be his most successful. Over the years Ransone has starred in a handful of horror movies that weren’t necessarily much to write home about — the two most worth mentioning are Sinister in 2012 and its sequel in 2015. For my money, Sinister is one of the best horror movies in the last decade and Ransone stood out in his supporting role as Deputy “So-and-so.” I was quite excited to see him take on the lead role in Sinister 2, but the film overall wasn’t the horror movie that Ransone is deserving of. IT could be a much-needed opportunity to him to prove himself in a quality horror role.
Ransone’s horror roles aside, the performance that I think best indicates what he’ll bring to the table in IT is that of Cpl. Ray Person in the 2008 HBO miniseries Generation Kill. The series tells the true story of a reporter who was embedded with a group of US Marines during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Ray is a character who is always putting up a front so as to not appear to be troubled as he is. This is my favorite performance of Ransone’s and I think it reveals how he could potentially navigate the role of Eddie. In both cases, there’s so much more going on with the two characters than what they first reveal. Eddie is on the surface somewhat paranoid and his germaphobia is initially played for jokes, but like everyone in the Losers’ Club, his issues run pretty deep. Between his overbearing mother turning him into a hypochondriac and the trauma of clashing with Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), there’s a lot of unresolved issues from Eddie’s childhood that his adult counterpart will still struggle with upon returning to Derry.
Ransone might not be the biggest name added to the cast of IT: Chapter Two, but he is the one I’m most excited about. As a fan, I’m thrilled to see him land a role in a blockbuster series. And as someone who loved IT, I think the sequel is fortunate to get an actor as talented as Ransone. We’ll all find out if my suspicions about this mutually beneficial casting are true when IT: Chapter Two opens September 6th, 2019.