From “The Entity” to “The Craft” to “Gremlins“, a number of classic horror films are getting remake treatments in Hollywood. One of the highly anticipated remakes is New Line’s upcoming remake of “It”, a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
The project, which will be covered over the course of 2 films, was supposed to have been helmed by “True Detective” director Cary Fukunaga. However, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie recently came to an indefinite halt as Fukanaga has dropped out of director’s chair due to budgetary reasons that stem from creative differences.
King’s “It” revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to transform itself into its prey’s worst fears, allowing it to exploit the phobias of its victims. It mostly took the form of a horrible and sadistic wisecracking clown called “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”.
Tommy Lee Wallace adapted the novel into a 2-part, 3-hour drama miniseries on ABC in 1991, with Tim Curry portraying Pennywise. The 1st part centres on a group of outcast kids aka “The Losers Club” who discover Pennywise while the 2nd part is about the kids being called back as adults to destroy the clown who has resurfaced.
Warner Bros. had been planning to develop a “It” remake for more than 3 years before moving the adaptation to its sister company, New Line. Screenwriter David Kajganich penned the first draft of the remake before Fukunaga took over the project and revealed that the latest script he co-wrote with Chase Palmer “will stay true” to the original story.
Insiders told THR that New Line had greenlit the first movie at $30 million and the 2nd part of the movie “would have had a larger budget”. Though the movie was due to begin filming in 3 weeks, Fukanaga abruptly departed from the project as he refused to “compromise his artistic vision in the wake of budget cuts that were recently demanded by New Line”.
Insiders told TheWrap that Fukanaga’s drafts were coming in at a higher number for the studio. The director originally wanted to cast older actors like Mark Rylance and Ben Mendelsohn for the Pennywise role. While many assumed Mendelsohn turned down the role due to his involvement in “Star Wars: Rogue One“, a source told TheWrap that the Australian actor was forced to pass on the project when New Line offered him to take a sizeable pay cut.
Apart from that, Fukanaga wanted to shoot the film in New York, which is deemed too much for the the studio as New York is more expensive than other locales. Another source also indicated that the studio was getting cold feet about the project due to the less-than-stellar opening of “Poltergeist” remake, which featured a clown in its marketing materials.
“The Maze Runner” star Will Poulter was originally in negotiations to play Pennywise, but it is unclear whether he will remain connected to the project. King also indicated that the movie will not move forward at New Line as he posted the following update on Twitter:
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
What do you think though? Do you think New Line should hire a new director or abandon the project? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.