by Justin Cook
True Detective director Cary Fukunaga has decided to drop out of New Line Cinema’s upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s It.
The movie, which was set to begin production this summer, has been pushed back indefinitely. We’re the Millers actor Will Poulter had been cast as the character of Pennywise the Clown, a shape-shifting child murderer.
According to The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider, who broke the story, New Line was hoping to go in a more commercial direction with the film, while Fukunaga wanted to make something more “classy and artful,” comparing Fukunaga’s vision to that of The Shining.
The original agreed upon budget of the film when it was greenlit was $30 million, but eventually New Line demanded budget cuts, which would have made it harder for Fukunaga to make the adaptation he initially wanted to. Fukunaga also wanted to shoot in New York, which would have been much more expensive than other locations the studio had in mind.
Before Poulter joined the project, Ben Mendelsohn was considered for the role of Pennywise, but the studio wanted the actor to take a major pay cut, so he passed on the project.
Fukunaga wanted to split It into two separate movies, one focusing on a group of children who encounter Pennywise, and the other focusing on the same group as adults. He wrote scripts for both films. New Line realized that this vision would be quite the gamble as far as marketing goes, causing them to have less faith in the project.
The studio’s next step is unknown. Whether they will begin the search for a new director, start from scratch completely, or just simply abandon the project remains to be seen.
Producers on the film are Chase Palmer. Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Doug Davison, Seth Grahame-Smith, and David Katzenberg.
Source: The Wrap