For a while, No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga had a habit of leaving projects. He bailed on the second season of True Detective, saying he had a “disheartening” experience with creator Nic Pizzolatto. And he ditched the Stephen King adaptation It. Both were made without him while he rebounded by joining another film that got walked out on by another director: the finally-about-to-debut next Bond film, which was once supposed to be Danny Boyle’s baby.
Fukunaga recently opened up about his True Detective experiences, but he also talked about leaving It, to which he was attached for years. (He retained a screenwriting credit.) What made him bail? It was, of course, and only in part, creative differences.
“I was on that for four or five years with Warners and then it got moved to New Line, right before we were about to go into production,” Fukunaga told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think New Line’s view of what they wanted and my view of what I wanted were very different. I wanted to do a drama with horror elements, more like The Shining. I think they wanted to do something more [pure horror] like Annabelle [from the Conjuring films]. That was essentially the disconnect.”
Mind you, the end result, by director Andy Muschietti, wasn’t just a standard horror movie. It was an epic two-parter, with a plum cast. And it had a fair amount of drama to go along with the scares. But clearly Fukunaga wanted something even more cerebral, but the studio that once upon a time actually bankrolled Stanley Kubrick’s (very unfaithful) take on another Stephen King novel wasn’t having it. Then again, they were cool with peeling off a lot of dough for a Shining sequel.