We all float down here!

Cary Fukunaga, best known for his work on True Detective and his 2010 adaptation of Jane Eyre, explained to Variety why he parted ways with New Line Cinema for the remake of Stephen King’s horror classic, It. Fukunaga and screenwriter Chase Palmer had already written a script, which was first in the works with Warner Bros. in 2012 before New Line took over. New Line is now looking to hire a new director with a fresh script.

Fukunaga had planned on making It into two films. Variety reports that “although early reports indicated that the director left over budgetary concerns, Fukunaga maintained that wasn’t the case. Both sides had agreed on making the two films for $32 million, according to the director. But Fukunaga said he had bigger disagreements with New Line over the direction of the story. A rep from New Line didn’t respond to a request for a comment.”

Fukunaga told Variety his side of the story.

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.

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.

So far, New Line hasn’t commented on the dissolution or where the film stands today. However, it’s good to note that they haven’t abandoned the project and it’s still in development. Though who knows what the final movie(s) will end up looking like.. “conventional” for horror doesn’t necessarily mean bad, but “inoffensive” definitely could. More to come…

 

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My cousin forced me to watch Child’s Play when I was around five years old, and I’ve loved horror movies ever since. I’ll watch anything (the gorier the better) but faint at the sight of blood in real life. Let’s be internet friends -- follow me on Twitter @mrstschinkel.