So here is what could be the most devastating news of the year for horror fans: True Detective director Cary Fukunaga has quit the new adaptation of Stephen Kings It, of which he was due to direct. He also worked on the script.
Fukunaga had been attached to direct the highly anticipated new take of Kings classic since 2012, and just last month The Maze Runner star Will Poulter was reportedly in final talks to take on the role of Pennywise the clown. Tim Curry gloriously brought this iconic horror creation to life in the 1990 TV mini series.
Fans were so excited to see what Fukunaga would bring to Kings terrifying tale, and since his fascinating work on the stunning TV series True Detective, everyone knew It was in good hands. Fukunaga is said to take his time with projects, working out the very best way to tell the story, and after growing up with It and loving Kings story, he was all set to bring horror fans an instant classic. He was passionate about his take on the nightmarish story, with a plan to split the epic over two films. It would seem his passion for perfection was sadly what caused some upset between him, Warner Brothers and the newly attached studio New Line.
The Wrap confirmed the news, stating that Fukunaga repeatedly clashed with the studio (Warner Bros) and did not want to compromise his artistic vision in the wake of budget cuts that were recently demanded by New Line, which greenlit the first film at $30 million.
“It” was originally set up at Warner Bros. before moving to New Line in recent weeks, which was one reason behind the unfortunate split. Shooting locations were another issue at the heart of the departure, with Fukunaga expressing a strong desire to film in New York, which is more expensive than other locales. Another source indicated that New Line was getting cold feet about the project in the wake of the less-than-stellar opening of “Poltergeist,” which featured a clown in its marketing materials.
As the start of production loomed in mid-June, Fukunaga’s recent drafts were coming in over-budget, and New Line has had success with genre movies when it has maintained a hard financial line. The budget conflict over “It” had been brewing for weeks.
New Line were said to also be concerned over Fukunaga’s choice to split the film in two, with the first part focusing on the children, and the second on the adults, much like the TV series. New Line were nervous about marketing a horror film with a child cast. It is also reported that the casting of Will Poulter as Pennywise was too much of a gamble (even though many thought it was so strange it would actually work!)
Older actors Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn were also in the mix for the role.
The sad news is that It was due to go into production next month, and now it appears that New Line and Warners have no future plans for the film to get made.
Fukunaga came on board to the project in 2012, when it was set up at Warner Bros. before moving to New Line. He penned the screenplay along with Chase Palmer.
Niija Kuykendall, Dave Neustadter and Walter Hamada were overseeing the movie Warner Bros. and New Line. Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg were producing through their KatzSmith banner while Dan Lin and Roy Lee are also producing.