Well, so much for that.
“True Detective” director Cary Fukunaga has dropped out of New Line's planned two-part adaptation of “It,” forcing the studio to push the project indefinitely, according to The Wrap. Here's Stephen King's reaction to the news:
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
So what happened? Try everything. (Yes, even the “Poltergeist” remake could be a factor!) Here's a handy list of rumored reasons for the split.
While New Line greenlit the first “It” installment at a reported $30 million, they allegedly cut the budget over Fukunaga's protests.
Fukunaga reportedly wanted to shoot the film in New York, despite the studio's wish to shoot in a more cost-effective location (read: one with generous tax incentives). (See: Reason #1.)
3. Studio change
“It” was originally set up at Warner Bros., but switched over to Time Warner subsidiary New Line in recent weeks, an upheaval that may have precipitated Fukunaga's exit.
4. Casting issues
Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) was reportedly Fukunaga's first choice for the role of Pennywise, but the actor was allegedly asking for more than the studio was willing to pay. Will Poulter (“We're the Millers”) later entered talks for the part, though now that Fukunaga has exited it's unclear whether the actor's involvement will continue.
5. Fukunaga's epic vision
The director was reportedly a big fan of King's 1,000-plus page novel and felt the project deserved a bigger canvas. Unfortunately, his two-part approach may have been too much for New Line, budget-wise.
6. “Poltergeist's” underwhelming first-weekend gross
Is it possible that New Line got cold feet after the Gil Kenan-directed remake brought in a so-so $27.7 million this weekend? I can't say for certain, but the reported reason behind it — that because the marketing for “Poltergeist” heavily featured a scary clown, no one will therefore want to see another movie about a scary clown — is typically short-sighted Hollywood logic.