Horror master Stephen King made a hilarious cameo in IT Chapter Two, but his character almost had even more to do, via a flashback sequence. King of course penned the legendary, absolutely enormous novel that both recent IT films were based on, as was the 1990 TV miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown. King’s legacy obviously stretches far beyond Derry, Maine though, as he’s one of the most successful authors in the history of books, and has contributed many iconic creations to pop culture.
Beyond his many creations though, King himself has become a pop culture icon, serving as sort of a goodwill ambassador for the merits of the entire horror genre. In a sense, King is to horror what Stan Lee was to the world of comic books, a likable fellow with a million ideas and lots of wisdom to share after decades of practicing his craft. Thankfully, King shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, still releasing new books each year, and often making cameos in the various adaptations of his work.
One such cameo came in IT Chapter Two, as a shopkeeper that sells Bill Denborough (James McAvoy) his childhood bike Silver back. During the scene, he takes a jab at himself through Bill, a horror author, criticizing King’s own reputation for being iffy with endings. It’s a great treat for King fans, but there was originally a bit more to the role.
One of the main story threads in every version of IT is the love triangle between Bill Denborough, Beverly Marsh, and Ben Hanscom. While this eventually leads to Ben ending up with Beverly and Bill returning to his wife Audra, the mutual attraction between Bill and Bev still sparks, especially in the book, in which they sleep together. In IT Chapter Two, Bill ends up in the pawn shop owned by Stephen King’s character while looking for his token for the Ritual of Chud, in this case his childhood bike Silver. The owner needles him a bit, but the transaction still occurs.
In writer Gary Dauberman’s original script for the IT sequel though, Bill had a flashback scene while in the pawn shop, reliving a potential tender moment between he and Bev as kids, which would’ve been interrupted by a younger version of King’s shopkeeper. The real kicker is that Muschietti planned to cast King’s own son and fellow author Joe Hill as the younger shopkeeper, which would’ve worked extremely well, as Hill is the spitting image of his dad at the same age. Unfortunately, the script was deemed too long, and the flashback portion of King and Hill’s cameo scene was cut for time. Considering that the film is three hours long, director Andy Muschietti probably made the right call, even if it would’ve been fun to see.