Cary Fukunaga Exits Stephen King’s ‘It’ Adaptation
With production set to begin this summer, Cary Fukunaga has exited the director’s chair on the major two-film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel It. While it’s definitely disappointing news, it’s not entirely surprising given that Fukunaga recently signed on to direct another film and he’s got a TNT miniseries in the pipeline.
The Wrap reports on Fukunaga’s exit from It, noting that the director clashed with the studio over budget restrictions following the film’s move from Warner Bros. to New Line. Fukunaga was set to begin production on his two-part film adaptation of King’s classic novel this summer. In addition to wanting to shoot the film in New York, which is more expensive, Fukunaga also reportedly clashed with the studio over creative differences.
Adding another layer to New Line’s hesitance in adapting King’s It was the recent release of Poltergeist, which didn’t fare well in theaters on opening weekend, and which also relied on a scary clown in its marketing materials. Eye roll.
It’s unclear if New Line will move forward with a new director on the project, but this is a pretty big loss — Fukunaga is an immensely gifted, visionary director, and the sort of talent you want to tackle a tricky, risky adaptation such as this. That risk — both creatively and financially — would have very likely paid off for New Line.
Just recently, it was announced that We’re the Millers star Will Poulter was in talks to play the evil clown Pennywise in Fukunaga’s It, and it doesn’t look like the next director will be honoring that casting decision, as New Line has officially shut this iteration of It down for the time being. The studio will likely start over from scratch, though given their budget concerns, it doesn’t seem as if they’ll be in a big rush to do so, and whatever adaptation ultimately, eventually surfaces, likely won’t be nearly as impressive or interesting as what Fukunaga would have delivered.
As for Fukunaga, he’s producing and directing The Alienist eight-part miniseries for TNT, and recently signed on to direct a film based on the true life story of Joe and Jadin Bell, based on a script by Brokeback Mountain writers Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana.