Director Cary Joji Fukunaga is currently promoting No Time to Die, which will be the last film with Daniel Craig playing Bond. And in an article The Hollywood Reporter has dedicated to him, he has reminded us once again of how he conceived his adaptation of the novel It by Stephen King, with the disturbing clown Pennywise, which was released in two parts, in 2017 and 2019.
A vision and a treatment that ended up causing his departure from the project, citing the well-known “creative differences.” Fans and those most interested in King’s work already knew. But Fukunaga, who built his prestige with the first and impressive season of True Detective, or with the Netflix feature Beasts of No Nation, has implied that his idea was to make a horror film closer to what Kubrick did with the adaptation of The Shining, also by Stephen King.
“I was on that for four or five years with Warners and then it got moved to New Line, right before we were about to go into production. I think New Line’s view of what they wanted and my view of what I wanted were very different. I wanted to do a drama with horror elements, more like The Shining. I think they wanted to do something more [pure horror] like Annabelle [from the Conjuring films]. That was essentially the disconnect,” Fukunaga explained.
It should also be reminded that he was already on the set to direct the first part and getting ready to write the script for the second, but only three weeks into production he was replaced by Argentine director Andy Muschietti. In fact, his name still appears in the credits as the writer of the adapted screenplay, along with those of Chase Palmer and Gary Dauberman.
And the move was perfect for New Line (Warner Bros. acted as distributor) because, above all, the first installment was a box office hit, grossing $700.3 million in theaters around the world (the second made $473 million). However, there will always be doubts about how Fukunaga’s It would have been. Maybe it would have had a much smaller impact at the box office, but … maybe we would be talking about a masterpiece?