It: Chapter 2 (opens in new tab) has floated into cinemas around the world and, if you're one of the thousands of horror fans who watched the conclusion to Pennywise's story on the big screen, you will likely have recognised a certain someone in a certain shop.
Spoilers for It: Chapter 2 ahead. You have been warned...
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you: that was indeed Stephen King, the writer of the It book, playing the shop owner who sold James McAvoy's Bill his old bicycle back. King has a notoriously mixed relationship with adaptations of his work, having once heavily criticised Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining, but the cameo makes for a stamp of approval on It: Chapter 2 from the horror maestro.
For the sequel's director Andy Muschietti, having King appear in the movie was a way to bring his experience directing the adaptation full circle. "We had an increasingly good relationship with King after he saw the first movie," the filmmaker tells GamesRadar and Total Film. "He became like a friend, and I wanted him to participate a little more in this one as he did not participate with the first movie at all. I didn’t want him to intervene in the creation, and he’s very clear he doesn’t want to mess with the people adapting his work, but I still wanted to keep him in the loop and get his thoughts.
"So, I sent him the first draft. He gave a list of things he would like to see. It felt more like a fan, because after reading it, he was like 'I would like to see [the giant lumberjack] Paul Bunyan'. So, I was like, 'I’ll give you Paul Bunyon'. The only way of returning the favour was having him in the movie. I asked him to do a cameo and he said, 'Well you have to know I’m a jinx. Every movie I was in bombed.' He said it with humour, and I said, 'I think we’re going to break the spell, let’s do it'.”
The rest, of course, is history, as King went on to have a role in It: Chapter 2. Whether the movie will be deemed a flop, we won't know for a couple of weeks.
We also spoke to Muschietti about the differences between the movie and book (opens in new tab), as well as the no-show of a certain mystical being (opens in new tab). It: Chapter 2 is in cinemas now.