Looming remakes can often be tedious and even anger-inducing, but the new adaptation of Stephen King's IT has risen to become one of the most anticipated horror projects of the next few years, and it got there in large part because of Cary Fukunaga. Fukunaga first signed on to the film adaptation, which was structured as a two-part retelling of King's massive novel, back in 2012, when he was already an acclaimed director thanks to work like Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre. Then True Detective happened, and Fukunaga, who directed the entire first season, reached a whole new audience of film fans. After the beautiful darkness of that series, he seemed like the perfect choice for IT, and because he was a lifelong fan of the story, it felt safe in his hands.
Well, now the IT remake has been cast into deep uncertainty. The Wrap reports that Fukunaga has left the project after clashes with the studio over the two-part film's budget. According to the report, the film's recent move from Warner Bros. to New Line formed part of the tension, as New Line hoped to recapture past genre success by keeping the film within budget, while Fukunaga's recent script drafts were over budget. Fukunaga also reportedly wanted to shoot in New York, while New Line favored a less expensive locale, and the studio even wanted actor Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) to take a pay cut if he were to play Pennywise in the film. Mendelsohn didn't go for that, and Fukunaga reportedly ended up casting young actor Will Poulter in the role of the killer clown.
What might happen to the project now is unclear, but The Wrap cites insiders who claim the film is "dead as currently constituted." It's entirely possible that New Line will find a new director and re-engineer the project as one long film (Fukunaga wanted one film about the characters as children and another about them as adults, but at the moment we just don't know. All we can do right now is take comfort in the words of King himself.
The remake of IT may be dead--or undead--but we'll always have Tim Curry. He's still floating down in the sewers of Derry.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 25, 2015
(Via The Wrap)