Just when things were looking up for Cary Fukunaga’s two-part film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, the True Detective director has dropped out of the project after bumping heads with New Line. The film will not move forward as planned this summer and has been pushed indefinitely, reports The Wrap. Stop me if you’v heard this one before, but Fukunaga essentially left the project due to creative differences.
What happened was that after Warner Bros. handed the project over to New Line, they unfortunately cut the budget, compromising Fukunaga’s vision of the film, thus causing him to leave. Shooting locations also became a huge part of the film’s eventual fate because Fukunaga expressed a strong desire to film in New York, which is considerably more expensive than other locales.
But here’s the worst part of the entire thing. New Line supposedly got cold feet about the project in the wake of the less-than-stellar opening of Gil Keenan’s Poltergeist remake, which featured a clown in its marketing materials. Do they really think Poltergeist’s failure at the box office was because of its clown? Sure, whatever floats your boat.
This is a crushing blow to the project, especially after they finally found their new Pennywise in The Maze Runner star Will Poulter. But now that the film has essentially fallen apart, we’re hearing that Fukunaga’s first choice to play the titular villain wasn’t even Poulter, it was Ben Mendelsohn, New Line just wanted Mendelsohn to take a sizable pay cut, prompting him to pass on the project. Could New Line have tried any harder to make this project fail?
The future of this film is now completely up in the air, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it just quietly disappeared. It’s a bummer, too, because Fukunaga had the vision and craving to create an adaptation of IT that the novel deserves. So much for that, though.
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