Stephen King’s It remake loses Cary Fukunaga, dammit

Cary Fukunaga won’t direct the It remake, the state of the film is unknown, and we’re very upset

Tim Curry as Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries version of Stephen King's It
Tim Curry as Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries version of Stephen King's It
Tim Curry as Pennywise in the 1990 miniseries version of Stephen King’s It

Some very, very aggravating news came last night, that True Detective director Cary Fukunaga has dropped out of New Line’s remake of Stephen King’s It.

The Wrap reports that the director of Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre has stepped away from the project, which he’s been attached to for a good few years now, and that the state of the film is now unknown.

The studio reportedly slashed the budget of the first of the planned two-part movie to $30 million, which Fukunaga believed would compromise his vision. Apparently the Poltergeist remake’s slightly lacklustre opening weekend has had some impact, but it would seem that they were already anxious about a big, ambitious, expensive horror movie.

Indeed, The Wrap says that the budget concerns came up when Fukunaga tried to cast the great Ben Mendelsohn as Pennywise, and the actor walked when New Line wouldn’t match his fee. Fukunaga then chose Will Poulter, who was currently in negotiations to play the terrifying clown, but the studio was reportedly unhappy with that choice as well.

Stephen King took to Twitter to offer us these comforting words…

While it’s dangerous to get too excited about a remake, we were thrilled about a director of Fukunaga’s calibre taking on a Stephen King movie. The project sounded like that very rare thing: a prestige studio horror movie. It is a massive, complex book that needs to be done right, or not at all. While we love the 1990 miniseries, there’s plenty in there that could be improved upon (a lot of the second half with the adults in particular).

What’s more, the director seemed like a perfect fit. The first season of True Detective takes place in a town gone to rot with a lurking monster preying on children. Can New Line really find someone more suited for the job? Fingers crossed.

Still, the first half of the miniseries holds up beautifully and the child actors were superb. And, as King said, there’s always Tim Curry as Pennywise.

Dammit. Beep beep, Richie.

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