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The planned two-part big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel ‘IT’ may be dead, just weeks before shooting was to have started, as director Cary Fukunaga has walked away from the project.

King himself broke the news with the short but concise tweet:

Fukunaga has been attached to the project for years now and the director co-wrote the scripts for both movies with partner Chase Palmer.  Fans have been wary to say the least of the few tidbits that have been announced regarding the project, most notably the fact that the massive novel was being split in two, with the first movie focusing on the seven main characters as children, set in the past and the second movie on the same characters as adults, set in the present.  The original novel and its 1990 TV movie adaptation jumped back and forth between the 50s and 80s throughout the story.  In another controversial movie, Fukunaga planned to update the time periods to the 80s and today.

Photo credit: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Photo credit: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Another subject of debate was the casting of ‘We’re The Millers’ youthful star Will Poulter in the seminal role of Pennywise the demonic clown that terrorized the children– a role epitomized by Tim Curry in the TV movie adaptation, which King referred to in his tweet.  True, it would be nearly impossible to compete with the great Tim Curry, but that holds true regardless of who was cast.

The big screen adaptation originated at Warner Brothers, but recently moved to New Line, which is where things appear to have fallen apart, as the new host studio failed to see eye-to-eye with Fukunaga on a number of details, including Poulter’s casting, considered a “gamble” by the studio.  Also a gamble was hanging the first movie on (presumably unknown) child actors, without bigger names to carry it.  Obviously, without a must-see part one, part two would obviously be doomed.  Also of contention was Fukunaga’s desire to film in New York, NY with New Line preferring a less costly location.

As of now, ‘IT’ has been put on indefinite hold and as King speculated, may be completely dead.  If New Line does choose to go on with the project, it’s unknown how much of Fukunaga and Palmer’s scripts would be kept if any.

More info as it is released, but for now, are you upset that the project is delayed or dead?  Or are you a purist that thinks the movie would work better without the planned alterations to the source material?  Comment below!

Source: The Wrap