Sad news Pennywise fans: director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) has left the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, just three weeks before principle photography was scheduled to begin. According to TheWrap, sources have stated that Fukunaga left the film after he “repeatedly clashed with the studio (he) did not want to compromise his artistic vision in the wake of budget cuts that were recently demanded by New Line”.
Which essentially means that New Line green-lit this new version of IT at a budget, according to various sources, of $30 Million, and Fukunaga’s drafts of the script kept coming in which required a budget higher than the studio was comfortable with for a genre film. This also means that the script, despite filming being scheduled to begin in less than a month, was still be being worked on and adjusted as the two sides tried to find a happy medium, which is never a good place to start.
With Fukunaga leaving the project, this new adaptation of IT has been “pushed indefinitely”, as New Line searches for a new director, however it is probably fair to say that this incarnation of the IT remake is dead in the water.
Chances are, New Line will take this opportunity to rework the concept into one movie, as opposed to the two films Fukunaga had wanted, dividing the story between when the Losers’ Club were children dealing with Pennywise, and when they are adults, as we originally told you about here, in order to make it more financially viable for them. This delay/potential re-working could also affect the involvement of Will Poulter (We’re the Millers), who had recently entered into negotiations to play Pennywise, as we told you about here, however there is no news on this time whether Poulter will remain with the project or not.
This is an unfortunate turn of events, considering Fukunaga’s passion for getting an epic adaptation of IT made, as he had reportedly been working on the project for over five years, and as recently as April 24, had spoken at the Tribeca Film Festival about working on IT, and it would have been fascinating to see what someone with Fukunaga’s visual pedigree would do with one of our favorite horror tales.
We will keep you posted on any further IT remake developments as they appear, but do not hold your breath.