Here's How It Chapter Two Pulled Off Those Big Cameos
It Chapter Two is nearly three hours long, and the film packs a lot into its lengthy runtime—genuine scares, a surprising number of laughs, and some pretty tender moments between the members of the Losers Club. But if you’ve seen the movie, you may also have noticed a few famous faces appearing in some minor roles.
The first surprise appearance by a big-name notable comes early in the film. Grown-up writer Bill Denbrough, played by James McAvoy, takes Mike’s call summoning him to Derry from the movie set of a film based one of his books. The onscreen director is played by celebrated real-life filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, who directed movies like The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon.
"I’m very ambitious when it comes to cameos," said It director Andy Muschietti last month during a press junket promoting the film. Though he landed the cameo from Bogdanovich, there was another filmmaker from whom he wasn’t able to secure an appearance. "I wanted Guillermo in the movie," he said during the junket. "Guillermo del Toro. We were this close. He was going to play the janitor that Ben runs into when he’s running away from Pennywise."
Del Toro’s appearance may not have worked out, but another horror legend made an even lengthier cameo in the film: Stephen King himself. The author’s scene is pretty hard to miss—he plays the grumpy shopkeeper at Derry’s Second Hand Rose who sells Bill his rusty childhood bicycle. Muschietti told Esquire that while King wasn’t a part of the movie's writing team, he was a fan of Muschietti’s first It film. "After the first movie, Stephen saw it and he was really pleased with it and we started talking to each other," Muschietti said. "That relationship evolved, and I didn’t want to start shaping the second movie without keeping him in the loop of what we were doing."
"[King] wrote this character in the book of a curmudgeonly old Mainer," James McAvoy told Entertainment Tonight of the author's shopkeeper role, "and he’s one of those guys who, you know, when you go to your hometown, whether you've made it big or not, people feel the need to bring you back down to earth and put you in your place. There's no better person to play it than him."
Brandon Crane, who played young Ben Hanscome in the 1990 It television miniseries, also appears in the cinematic sequel as an employee of grown-up Ben’s architectural firm. And Muschietti himself got in on the cameo action—he appears as a customer at the pharmacy where Eddie picks up a prescription and gets attacked by the leper.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.