Writer/director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective Season 1, Maniac) has gained a reputation for being difficult to work with — a reputation that the man himself doesn't think is quite earned. He's definitely a visionary with a small habit of walking out on projects when he starts to see red flags... but he wouldn't call himself difficult.
One of Fukunaga's more prominent exits was from It: Chapter One — he left the project, which he adapted, two weeks before filming was set to begin. He retains a screenwriting credit on the film, but ultimately directing duties fell to Andy Muschietti, who created a film that made the studio quite a lot of money. The film ended up with a worldwide total of $700.4 million, which made it the highest-grossing horror film of all time. New Line produced the film, with Warner Bros. handling distribution.
Why did Fukunaga leave the project in the first place? According to a new interview with GQ magazine, it was because he felt that the studio began to lose its trust in him.
"I think it was fear on their part, that they couldn't control me," he says, and then points out that these fears were unwarranted. "I would have been a total collaborator. That was the kind of ridiculous part. It was just more a perception. I have never seen a note and been like, f*** you guys. No way. It's always been a conversation."
In terms of his reputation of being "uncompromising," Fukunaga makes it clear that he's had to compromise on every single project he's worked on. As he says, "I don't think I've ever been able to make something uncompromising."
One place he didn't compromise was for the scripting of his new series Maniac, which premieres on Netflix on Sept. 21. Three months before preproduction began, Fukunaga and his co-writer Patrick Somerville tossed half of their scripts and started over. "That was me. I was saying this wasn't good enough," he said. "I realized I have a tendency to make things harder than they need to be."
Everything seems to have worked out — Maniac is almost here (starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill), and It: Chapter One obviously did just fine. The second chapter is currently filming, and according to a recent Instagram story, Jessica Chastain appears to have wrapped her role as adult Beverly. How will the adult loser's club defeat the evil Pennywise in the second chapter? Hit him with double the number of sticks, naturally.