The long-awaited reboot of the IT movie (itself an adaptation of Stephen King's iconic horror novel) has suffered a great blow: director Cary Fukunaga has left the project.
Citing creative differences with the studio, Fukunaga quit the IT movie even though he'd spent years working on the script, and even making the choice to cast Will Poulter in the lead role as Pennywise.
Fukunaga spoke to Variety about exactly how AWESOME his version of the IT movie would have been:
"I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience. Our budget was perfectly fine. We were always hovering at the $32 million mark, which was their budget.
It was the creative that we were really battling. It was two movies. They didn’t care about that. In the first movie, what I was trying to do was an elevated horror film with actual characters. They didn’t want any characters. They wanted archetypes and scares. I wrote the script. They wanted me to make a much more inoffensive, conventional script. But I don’t think you can do proper Stephen King and make it inoffensive."
How cool does that sound? I'm betting that Fukunaga could have seriously brought the gritty chills of the original to life. This scene in particular...
And, yeah, this guy really understands Pennywise:
"The main difference was making Pennywise more than just the clown. After 30 years of villains that could read the emotional minds of characters and scare them, trying to find really sadistic and intelligent ways he scares children, and also the children had real lives prior to being scared. And all that character work takes time. It’s a slow build, but it’s worth it, especially by the second film. But definitely even in the first film, it pays off."
It's both good and bad news that Cary and co-writer Chase Palmer are taking their script with them. It's devastating that we won't get to see their version, but the good news is that Cary & Chase are relieved that nobody can ruin their vision - which was so personal that they wrote some of their own childhood experiences into the script:
"Our biggest fear was they were going to take our script and bastardize it. So I’m actually thankful that they are going to rewrite the script. I wouldn’t want them to stealing our childhood memories and using that. I mean, I’m not sure if the fans would have liked what I would have done. I was honoring King’s spirit of it, but I needed to update it. King saw an earlier draft and liked it."
Mama director Andy Muschietti is expected to take over the project.