Cary Fukunaga reveals why he abandoned Stephen King's IT

As many of you might know, before director Andres Muschiettit took the helm of the recent hit adaptation of STEPHEN KING'S IT, another director was in place, the casting was announced, and production was all set to go. That director was Cary Fukunaga (TRUE DETECTIVE Season 1) and, obviously, that version of the film fell to pieces. 

Since the movie dissolved under Fukunaga's fingertips, the writer-director has since been (mostly) mum about why he left the project in specific terms. Fukunaga did spill the beans to Variety back in 2015 though saying: 

I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience. Our budget was perfectly fine. We were always hovering at the $32 million mark, which was their budget. It was the creative that we were really battling. It was two movies. They didn’t care about that. In the first movie, what I was trying to do was an elevated horror film with actual characters. They didn’t want any characters. They wanted archetypes and scares. I wrote the script. They wanted me to make a much more inoffensive, conventional script. But I don’t think you can do proper Stephen King and make it inoffensive.

The main difference was making Pennywise more than just the clown. After 30 years of villains that could read the emotional minds of characters and scare them, trying to find really sadistic and intelligent ways he scares children, and also the children had real lives prior to being scared. And all that character work takes time. It’s a slow build, but it’s worth it, especially by the second film. But definitely even in the first film, it pays off.

It was being rejected. Every little thing was being rejected and asked for changes. Our conversations weren’t dramatic. It was just quietly acrimonious. We didn’t want to make the same movie. We’d already spent millions on pre-production. I certainly did not want to make a movie where I was being micro-managed all the way through production, so I couldn’t be free to actually make something good for them. I never desire to screw something up. I desire to make something as good as possible.

We invested years and so much anecdotal storytelling in it. Chase and I both put our childhood in that story. So our biggest fear was they were going to take our script and bastardize it. So I’m actually thankful that they are going to rewrite the script. I wouldn’t want them to stealing our childhood memories and using that. I mean, I’m not sure if the fans would have liked what I would had done. I was honoring King’s spirit of it, but I needed to update it. King saw an earlier draft and liked it.

And if all those tasty bits weren't enough for you, today we have word via GQ that Fukunaga is out and about talking about the infamous split again, this time telling the site:

...[The studio] thought they couldn't control me. I would have been a total collaborator. That was the kind of ridiculous part. It was just more a perception. I have never seen a note and been like, Fuck you guys. No way. It's always been a conversation. I don't think I've ever been able to make something uncompromising. Like, someone commented on Beasts, 'Oh, how did it feel to make a movie that's uncompromising?' Like, uncompromising? I had to rewrite my entire third act ’cause we didn't have the money to finish the film. We compromise all over the place.

I've read Fukunaga's script for IT (which he co-wrote with Chase Palmer), and as much as I love the man as a director, I'm not sad that the powers that be over at Warner Bros. decided it was best to let his version fall to the wayside. It was a scary script, to be sure, but it changed too much of the source material for my liking. "Unconventional" or not.

What do you think of Fukunaga's comments? Let us know below! 

Extra Tidbit: Have you read Fukunaga's version of IT?
Source: VarietyGQ



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