[Interview] The Story Behind the ‘IT CHAPTER TWO’ Cameos – And Who They Couldn’t Get

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Courtney Howard // Film Critic

Warning: This post will be discussing a topic that you might consider to be spoilers. If you want to be surprised by everything in IT CHAPTER 2, bookmark this post and return to it later. For all others, proceed…

It will now be known as the cameo appearance that never was. From Hitchcock, to Tarantino, directors love to do cameos in their own films. But what happens when they approach other entertainment pioneers to appear in their movie? When director Andy Muschietti was lining up a few roles in IT CHAPTER 2 to be filled by some famous faces, he wanted to get one person in particular to add a little more flavor – filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

At the film’s recent Los Angeles press conference, the auteur told reporters,

I’m very ambitious when it comes to cameos. That’s my best trait as a director. I wanted Guillermo del Toro in the movie. We were this close. He was going to play the janitor that Ben runs into when he’s running away from Pennywise. That scene, of course, would’ve been five minutes longer if Guillermo was in it.

Muschietti’s desire to pepper the picture with other master craftsmen wasn’t met with as much opposition from the universe. While one of his heroes, Peter Bogdanovich, didn’t have any qualms about making a brief appearance playing himself, another childhood hero, IT author Stephen King, brought up that his presence might trigger a cinematic curse.

I wanted him in the movie. So I offer him the cameo. The first thing he said was, ‘Well, you have to consider that I’m a jinx. Every movie that I’m in, bombs.’ So I said, ‘Well, I guess we should give it a try. I think we’re going to be fine.’

And the role wound up be perfect for King, Muschietti even crediting his appearance as adding levity to the film.

The shopkeeper at Secondhand Rose was perfect and it was the perfect match for him. The scene grew up on the day. The comedy grew up. I have a tendency to try to make things funnier when the scene is done, so why It 2 is almost a comedy – with body parts. So that was it. It was a lot of fun.

In addition to King and Bogdanovich, Muschietti also roped in filmmaker Xavier Dolan (MOMMY) to play Adrian Mellon and screenwriter Jason Fuchs (PAN), casting him as Richie’s manager. Plus, in a blink and you’ll miss it cameo, the IT director found room to insert himself into his film, as a customer at the Derry pharmacy.

IT CHAPTER 2 opens on September 6.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.