Once he moves to Las Vegas, Theo quickly befriends Boris, a Russian immigrant whose father is equally as absent as Theo's own dad. The two boys spend their afternoons drinking straight vodka and cheap beer, raiding Theo's stepmother's pill cabinet (her name is, appropriately, Xandra), and generally disregarding the world around them. We think you'll agree that none other than Dane Dehaan would be perfect for the part.
The peculiar antique craftsman James Hobart, better known to his friends as Hobie, becomes Theo's only responsible and reliable adult role model. When searching for the meaning of Welty's message, Theo lands upon Hobie's doorstep. Hobie returns throughout the novel as someone to whom Theo can always return. For Hobie's gentle and caring, yet incredibly odd and backward-looking character, we think an English actor would be best. From his years of experience in films including the final installment of Harry Potter, The Iron Lady, and Cloud Atlas, we have no doubt Jim Broadbent would fit this role.
As a nine-year-old, Kitsey Barbour disdains Theo's presence in her family's luxurious New York City apartment, but as they grow older and Theo returns to the city, the pair develop a relationship and eventually marry. Kitsey refuses to let go of her socialite upbringing and remains wrapped up in hosting dinners and attending parties, despite Theo's yearning for a "normal" and down-to-earth lifestyle. After her role in The Help, we have no doubt that Bryce Dallas Howard could become Theo's "Kitten."
Then, while we won't spoil any details, Theo's adult self is arguably worse than his pot-smoking, alcohol abusing teenage self. Elijah Wood can bring the audience along as Theo engages in more adult, illegal, and daunting journeys in New York and across the Atlantic.
Theo first sees Pippa at the Met before the explosion. For him, as clichéd as it might be, it was love at first sight. Theo obsesses over Pippa and her gorgeous red hair, but he never wins the girl. Pippa leaves for boarding school, meets another boy, and never reciprocates Theo's affection. With her proven ability to play quirky characters and her glowing red locks, Maria Thayer would be a perfect fit to play Pippa as an adult.
Throughout the book, readers witness Theodore Decker progressing from a hopelessly lost and moody middle school and high-school student into a still moody and reckless young adult. After Theo is virtually orphaned by the explosion, he lives with the New York socialite Barbour family, but then moves to live with his alcoholic father in Las Vegas, eventually running away and returning to New York. Excelling in heavy roles, like Bruno in The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, since age eight, Asa Butterfield would be an ideal young Theo.