Back in May, director Cary Fukunaga abruptly left the planned two-movie adaptation of Stephen King’s It. At the time, “creative differences” were cited for Fukunaga’s exit in addition to clashes over the budget for the two movies with New Line Studios. Last month, Fukunaga briefly mentioned that he and the studio didn’t see eye-to-eye about the movies they were going to make. But now it seems as if Fukunaga is done holding back.
In a new interview for the cover story on Variety, Fukunaga went into detail about his exit from It. And according to Fukunaga, his departure was definitely not about the budget.
“I was trying to make an unconventional horror film,” explained Fukunaga. “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…It was the creative that we were really battling…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.”
Fukunaga also noted that he and co-writer Chase Palmer had used some of their own childhood experiences in the script for the first movie to flesh out the lives of the characters before they encountered the creature that was sometimes disguised as Pennywise the Clown.
“Our biggest fear was they were going to take our script and bastardize it,” added Fukunaga. “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.”
The full length text of Fukunaga’s comments can be found on Variety’s website, and they include more details about his take on Pennywise and how much he hated being micro-managed on Stephen King’s It. New Line was reportedly looking for a director to replace Fukunaga, but a new helmer for Stephen King’s It has not yet been named.
Stephen King fans, what are your thoughts on Fukunaga’s exit from It? And who should be the next director? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!