It Chapter Two cameo

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro nearly had a cameo in Andy Muschietti‘s It: Chapter Two, the upcoming sequel to the 2017 mega-hit. We got the details about that near-cameo and much more at the film’s press conference, where Andy Muschietti, his producing partner (and sister) Barbara Muschietti, writer Gary Dauberman, star Bill Skarsgärd, and both the young and adult Losers Club cast members talked about bringing author Stephen King‘s classic story to the big screen. Read on to discover what else we learned.

The junket took place at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles, a “living history museum” with several buildings from the late 1800s that were transformed into a recreation of the fictional town of Derry, Maine for this event.

Guillermo del Toro Almost Had An It Chapter Two Cameo

“I’m very ambitious when it comes to cameos,” Muschietti joked. “It’s my best trait as a director.” There are a couple of small ones scattered throughout It: Chapter Two that I won’t spoil for you here, but the film very nearly had another familiar face in a tiny role: Guillermo del Toro, the director of films like Pacific Rim and The Shape of Water.

In the film, there’s a scene in which young Ben Hanscomb (Jeremy Ray Taylor) briefly collides with a janitor while he’s being chased by Pennywise through the halls of his school, and Muschietti explained how that was the role he had earmarked for del Toro, but they couldn’t quite work out the details or timing to get him on board.

“I wanted Guillermo in the movie. 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. Yeah. That scene, of course, would have been like five minutes longer if Guillermo was in it.”

A Deleted Scene

When talking about Pennywise and his motivations and methods in this sequel, Andy Muschietti talked about how Pennywise weaponizes belief to stay alive:

“I think there’s a currency, and the currency is belief. Belief is a weapon, but it’s your defense, too. There’s a scene that was lifted that wasn’t incredibly relevant to the main plot. We decided to lift it to get better pacing. I don’t miss it, but it was basically a scene with Pennywise talking to Mike…it’s sort of like a chess game scene where they’re talking about their plans. The idea of belief comes to the surface, and Mike it like, ‘I’m going to get you. Now [the other Losers] believe.’ And Pennywise says, ‘They believe – in me.’

So it’s basically the same energy, the same weapon – it’s the thing you have as a child that you don’t have anymore when you’re an adult, which is the imagination, the power to believe in things that don’t exist.”

The Length Was a Topic of Concern

Dauberman, who said Stephen King is on his personal Mount Rushmore of horror writers, wrote a film that ended up being 2 hours and 49 minutes – far longer than a typical horror film, and the type of extended run time that could make studio executives nervous. I asked if there were any concerns about the length, and he said there were.

“Yes, there were lots of concerns about the length. But we always had the motto of, if it feels long, then it is long. We watched it and – I’ve watched a lot of hour and a half movies that feel like four hours. So if we’re watching a movie that’s two hours and forty minutes and it doesn’t feel like that, that was our win.”

The One Element Dauberman Wishes He Was Able to Include

King’s novel begins with lengthy introductions of each of the adult Losers, intercutting with stories from their younger counterparts and ultimately taking nearly 500 pages for the adults to reunite at the Jade of the Orient Chinese restaurant in Derry. And even though this film clocks in at just under three hours in its theatrical form, when I asked Dauberman if there was anything he couldn’t fit into the script that he would have liked to, he said he wanted to see more of that time with each Loser alone before they reconnected:

“In the run-up of that first act, I loved seeing where the Losers ended up in their real lives, but also I know, ‘Well, people are just going to want to get them to the Jade of the Orient, and get them back together.’ So that was a big thing while I was writing, going, ‘I wish I could spend a little more time in their day to day, just to see what they’re doing.’ But you can’t.”

Bill Hader Had An Embarrassing On-Set Injury

When the adult cast was asked about the physicality of their performances and if anyone incurred any scars while making the film, Hader sheepishly explained that he experienced an unfortunate injury.

Warning: his answer includes spoilers for the end of the film, but I’m going to include them because the book and the mini-series are both super popular and have been out for a long time. But turn back now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

“I pulled my groin muscle simply running…[during a scene in the climax of the film]. Andy was like, ‘Turn around and run from the clown spider.’ I turned around, and [James Ransone] is doing barrel rolls, [Jay Ryan] is doing barrel rolls, [Isaiah Mustafa] is jumping over and sliding, kick-ass, he’s an action star. McAvoy is finding stuff to jump and do pirouettes over, and I just turned and went [mimics cracking noise, pretends to fall over]. I had to have a nice Canadian doctor come over and give me an MRI, and he was like, ‘Oh wow, how’d you do this, then? Ah, run away from a clown spider, eh?'”

It: Chapter Two hits theaters on September 6, 2019.

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