New Line's 'It' Project Loses Director Cary Fukunaga, Now Delayed
Troubles with another big production. It was recently reported by The Wrap that New Line Cinema's new version of It, adapted from Stephen King's book about the evil clown, has been delayed indefinitely due to production troubles. Specifically, they say that director Cary Fukunaga is no longer attached and has left the project, which was nearing a June start date but was halted due to budget problems and other issues. The adaptation was originally set up at Warner Bros, with Roy Lee and Dan Lin producing, but only recently shifted to New Line where they're a bit more stern about how much they're willing to spend. Now it's stuck.
Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, "True Detective", Beasts of No Nation) was working on developing a two-part adaptation of Stephen King's evil clown story It, and they were even close to securing Will Poulter for the lead role as Pennywise. Everything was gearing up to start shooting this summer, until they ran into problems with the budget getting bigger, especially for two movies. Aside from shooting costs going up per Fukunaga's request to film in New York, there were other pain points in development recently.
As the start of production loomed in mid-June, Fukunaga’s recent drafts were coming in over-budget, and New Line has had success with genre movies when it has maintained a hard financial line. The budget conflict over “It” had been brewing for weeks, as Fukunaga discovered when he initially tried to cast Ben Mendelsohn as the titular villain.
While many assumed Mendelsohn was forced to turn down “It” due to his pending involvement in “Star Wars: Rogue One,” an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that the Australian actor could’ve starred in both movies — “It” in June and “Rogue One” in September — but New Line wanted Mendelsohn to take a sizable pay cut, prompting him to pass on the project.
So what's the current status? "One insider told TheWrap that It was dead as currently constituted. A studio insider acknowledged the film has been pushed indefinitely…" That includes Will Poulter, or at least, he can now go on to do other films and whenever this comes together again, who knows where everyone will be. In the meantime, even though there wasn't much anticipation for this It remake, it definitely was Cary Fukunaga who made it appealing. Without him, it's hard to say there's much interest at all. Author Stephen King, who wrote the story the movie is based on, took to Twitter to make a quick joke about the situation:
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
This is also a good reminder to check out the original It movie starring Tim Curry as Pennywise. As for Cary Fukunaga, I'm not worried. He's a very talented director and can easily line up more opportunities. As stated before, he was one of the reasons I was interested in this new It adaptation, but now not so much. We'll still be closely following Fukunaga and any other development updates on this project. As The Wrap goes on to add, "it wouldn’t be surprising if New Line ended up adapting King’s acclaimed book as one long movie" and that may very likely be the outcome of the current situation. They'll have to find a new director, figure out a new plan, and give it another shot. But is it worth it anymore? We'll find out one day, I'm sure.
Reader Feedback - 14 Comments
Maybe this is a good omen for them to rethink yet another remake and create something original. Yeah, right.
theslayer5150 on May 26, 2015
Maybe just pack it in boys.
OfficialJab on May 26, 2015
I find this insane. There was some serious money to be made off these films. If New Line wanted o make it into one long film, that's retarded. The book is nearly 2000 pages, and with two films they could of doubled their money? And three weeks before production started? You have to fucking kidding me. New Line had the opportunity to bring back some actual horror. With Cary not involved, this is fucked. This really could of been something huge for both New Line and Fukunaga, what a waste. This is a lesson to why studios fucking blow. I seriously hope some other studio tries to steal this away from New Line and give Cary his freedom. You're telling me they can't the money to produce one of the best/scariest horror novel of all time? Get the fuck out.
Ben Moore on May 26, 2015
They keep saying, "It is delayed. It is delayed".....WHAT is delayed??
TheOct8pus on May 26, 2015
haha....sorry...my comment was just a bad joke... "It" is the name of the movie... and "it" is delayed.... If I have to explain the joke, then it sucks....haah
TheOct8pus on May 26, 2015
I got it!
Huck PS on May 27, 2015
Yes!! Then my work is done here!
TheOct8pus on May 27, 2015
As much as I am terrified of IT (I mean IT literally haunted me numerous times in my dreams ha) it's sad to hear its delayed, especially with Cary leaving.
III on May 26, 2015
This feels sad, because poulter would be great as pennywise. Very very sad it is...
ari smulders on May 26, 2015
All right. No more. Done.
DAVIDPD on May 26, 2015
I can't understand why a fantastic 2 part film like IT, or a near masterpiece like Poltergeist would need to be remade? They aren't sequels and will undoubtedly be compared to the superior originals. It seems almost everyone involved has come to this realization. IT scared the hell out of me as a child, but I was exactly that, a child. Maybe New Line doesn't have faith a killer clown will have the same effect on an adult audience in a theater as it did on kids in their living rooms?
BNN667 on May 26, 2015
I would've liked to see an "It" without the censorship constraints of the early 90's. I'm not saying it would've been better, but having a fresh spin and Fukanaga's take on the story and the characters would've defo been entertaining at least. Plus as with most Stephen King's stories, put them in capable hands and they get will kick ass (Carrie, The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, etc...). The messed up thing here is a big studio wanting to remake a masterpiece like this one, for the love of the story they say, and then when someone comes up wanting to do it right, they turn it down because they don't want to spend that much money on it, all they want was to make money off of it (all puns intended). On a personal note, my girlfriend has been terrified by (the book version of) Pennywise since for ever, I would've love to see her reaction to Fukanaga's version...
Huck PS on May 27, 2015
If this movie ever got made it would be the citizen Kane of horror movies. Also it should be three movies. If they included everything. bummer.
speedracer on May 30, 2015
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