Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Here's How Much Money Jessica Chastain Made From It: Chapter Two

When Warner Bros. unleashed the horrifying first chapter of Andy Muschietti's It on the world in 2017, they found themselves with a box office hit that played as well with critics as it did with audiences. To say the film's runaway success was a surprise would be an understatement, not just because It: Chapter One was a very R-rated horror movie about a blood-thirsty clown terrorizing children, but also because it had no big-name talent involved. In fact, for most moviegoers, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard was the only recognizable face among the film's young cast. 

Of course, that lack of star power helped Warner Bros. limit their risk on the adaptation of Stephen King's beloved novel, with the studio ponying up a mere $35 million dollars to make the picture. It: Chapter One would go on to crush the box office, pulling in a staggering $700 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing horror movie in history.

A sequel was, of course, a foregone conclusion, as It: Chapter Two continues the story told in King's novel — which finds adult versions of the kiddos who dubbed themselves the "Losers' Club" in their youth returning to their hometown in Maine to end the threat posed by the evil, timeless, shape-shifting entity which appears most often in the guise of Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård) once and for all. 

As is often the case with sequels and/or continuations, the idea was to go bigger and better the second time around. As such, Warner Bros. reportedly doubled the budget for It: Chapter Two, which certainly made it easier for Muschietti to cast a few recognizable faces for the adult versions of the Losers. Among them were X-Men: First Class star James McAvoy as the adult Bill Denbrough, Barry star Bill Hader as the adult Richie Tozier, and Jessica Chastain as the adult Beverly Marsh.

Chastain was reportedly the only actor approached for the key role of Beverly (played by up-and-comer Sophia Lillis in It: Chapter One), with the two-time Oscar nominee essentially being hand-picked by both Muschietti and Lillis herself. Needless to say, Chastain's casting as Beverly was undeniably spot on, with the talented actor bringing uncommon depth, strength, and emotion to a role that could easily have gotten a bit lost in all the blood-curdling mayhem in play. According to Variety, Chastain's services were secured at a relative bargain; Warner Bros. shelled out just $2.5 million dollars to add her talents to the film's impressive ensemble. 

Perhaps hindered by unexpectedly lofty expectations and an ungainly run time of just under three hours, It: Chapter Two didn't quite set the box office ablaze the way its predecessor did, delivering a global take just shy of the $500 million dollar mark. Given Chastain's modest initial payday, we can only hope that the actor worked out some sort of back-end deal to bolster her take, because it's entirely possible she had to spend the bulk of that $2.5 million bucks on special treatments just to get all of that fake blood out of her hair.

Jessica Chastain movies you need to see after It: Chapter 2

Sad as it seems, it's possible that It: Chapter Two may well be the first time some moviegoers are getting to see Chastain on the big screen, if only because the world (rightfully) slept on the box office bomb that was Dark Phoenix. Chastain, though, has been around for quite a few years now, having first gained attention in minor roles on TV series like ER and Veronica Mars back in the early '00s. Over the last decade, she's transformed herself from small-screen supporting player into a full-blown movie star, working with the likes of Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), Guillermo Del Toro (Crimson Peak), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), and Ridley Scott (The Martian). For those who are just now getting to know Chastain, here's a few of the actor's lesser-known movies — selections that should help you get better acquainted with her formidable talent. 

Take Shelter (2011)

Although Chastain scored her first movie role in 2008 with the mostly overlooked Jolene, she finally got her cinematic moment in the sun just a couple of years later. 2011 was a bonafide breakout year for the actor, who appeared in no few than five feature films that year. While Chastain earned accolades for her mostly silent work in The Tree of Life, and she earned her first Oscar nomination (for Best Supporting Actress) for her scene-stealing performance in The Help, Jeff Nichols' daring, micro budget creeper Take Shelter is undoubtedly the film that displayed the full range of her talent. 

In the movie, Chastain stars as the wary wife to Michael Shannon's obsessively tormented farmer — a man so plagued by disturbing visions of a coming cataclysm that he's taken to building a pricey bomb shelter in their backyard. While Take Shelter is, admittedly, a showcase for one of the great Michael Shannon performances, Chastain holds her own and then some opposite the intense work of her co-star, essentially serving as the warm, beating heart of a patently bleak film increasingly consumed by suffocating paranoia and apocalyptic imagery.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

If 2011 was Chastain's breakout year, 2012 is the year that proved she was here to stay. That was the year she officially stepped into the spotlight as a leading lady in Kathryn Bigelow's searing political thriller Zero Dark Thirty; perhaps not coincidentally, it's also the year that she earned her first Oscar nomination in the Best Actress category. In the film, which is based on actual events, Chastain appears as a tough-as-nails CIA operative who becomes a reluctant participant in the increasingly vicious interrogations of post-9/11 Al Qaeda suspects — who may one day lead her to the location of elusive Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. 

Bracing, brutal, and altogether enthralling, Zero Dark Thirty is exactly the sort of edge-of-your-seat thriller you'd expect from a filmmaker like Bigelow, with the film taking an unblinking approach to a complex real-world drama. Chastain's work in the movie is the very definition of commanding, as the actor builds a rich intellect and a single-minded determination into her character via a searing, largely internalized performance that frequently finds her saying more with her eyes than she does with her words.

A Most Violent Year (2014)

If Zero Dark Thirty is all about Chastain internalizing emotion, 2014's A Most Violent Year sees the actor letting loose to equally dramatic effect. Set in New York City circa 1981, A Most Violent Year finds Chastain working opposite Oscar Isaac (just a year before his breakout role as Poe Dameron in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens) as one half of a burgeoning power couple determined to carve out their own piece of the American dream. Of course, 1981 was, in fact, one of the Big Apple's most violent years (hence that spot on title), so it's easy enough to imagine how some of that violence inevitably spills into the pair's lives. 

As it does, a full-on power struggle emerges as the couple fight tooth and nail to keep what's theirs. In terms of performance, the dual leads are essentially playing polar opposites, with Isaac's character mostly keeping his emotions in check and Chastain's frequently boiling over into venomous tirades and pointed action. While the movie from director J.C. Chandor (Triple Frontier) doesn't satisfy on all fronts, please trust us when we tell you that it's more than worth the price of admission just to watch Isaac and Chastain work through the madness. 

We could keep going, because Chastain is one of those rare performers who hasn't really made a bad film — but if you're just looking for a place to get started with her interesting body of work, you'll find all you need in the films we've listed here.