IT: Chapter 2 Has Cast Its Adult Ben

Jeremy Ray Taylor and Jay Ryan

If you read Stephen King's original IT novel, then you know the story is massive, so much so that there's no way to effectively adapt it into one 120-150 minute-long movie. So Warner Bros and director Andy Muschietti wisely decided to split the horror tale into two parts, and last year's IT chronicled the Losers Club's first encounter with the eponymous demonic entity, a.k.a. Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Next year, the second portion of the King's 1986 horror tale will be adapted in IT: Chapter 2, and will see the now-adult protagonists returning to Derry, Maine. Over the last few weeks, the sequel's main cast has been coming together, and we've learned that Beauty and the Beast actor Jay Ryan has been cast to play the adult Ben Hanscom.

Ben Hanscom's younger self was played by Jeremy Ray Taylor in IT, and Deadline reports that Jay Ryan will be taking over as the character for IT: Chapter 2 (although the Losers Club members as children are expected to appear in the sequel via flashbacks). Ryan is arguably best known for playing Vincent Keller on the CW series Beauty and the Beast, while his other credits include Neighbours, Sea Patrol, Offspring and Terra Nova. He currently stars as Detective Ben Wesley on Mary Kills People.

In IT, Ben was the new kid in Derry, Maine, and he didn't start out having that many friends, leading to him spending a lot of his time reading and researching in the library. After being selected as bully Henry Bowers' newest target, Ben joined the Losers Club and joined them in investigating the unexplained tragedies and child disappearances that had plagued Derry for decades. Like Bill Denbrough, he had a crush on Beverly Marsh. In the IT novel, Ben grew up to be a successful architect and lost a lot of the weight that he'd gained as a kid. No spoilers here for those who haven't read the book, but it will be interesting to see how IT: Chapter 2's version of Ben as an adult differs from how he was depicted on the printed page, if at all.

With Jay Ryan aboard IT: Chapter 2, the sequel's cast now boasts Bill Skarsgard reprising Pennywise, Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak and Andy Bean as Stanley Uris. That leaves Mike Hanlon, who was played by Chosen Jacobs in IT, as the only adult member of the Losers Club left to be cast in IT: Chapter 2. Andy Muschietti returned to helm the sequel, and Gary Dauberman wrote the script with Jeffrey Jurgensen.

IT: Chapter 2 will be released in theaters on September 6, 2019. If you're interested in learning what movies are arriving this year, scan through our 2018 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.