I have to admit that I wasn't really tremendously surprised when I read the news that Cary Fukunaga had decided to not make Stephen King's It as his next project. Sad, yes. But when I saw him speak at the Tribeca Film Festival last month there was something off in his attitude when asked about the film; I decided to read it as him trying not to jinx things by not talking about it, but my first instinct was an absence of enthusiasm and I think now I should've stuck with that. I have no doubt he once had enthusiasm on the project - why else would he have picked it up in the first place? It's not like he's hurting for offers. But judging from the rumors surrounding his exit it sounds like he was fighting with the studio for a good long while over the direction of the project (aka money).
I was taken aback by two of his reported choices - wanting to shoot the film in NYC (as with all things Stephen King it's hard to disconnect the property from a Maine setting) and the casting of the 22 year old Brit Will Poulter as the evil clown Pennywise. When I say "taken aback" it doesn't mean I was ready to pounce negatively on these things, mind you. They were just... unexpected. Cary's proven himself an interesting enough filmmaker at this point that I'm willing to give him the benefit. But I guess the studio wasn't! And how gross is this quote from the article:
"Another source indicated that New Line was getting cold feet about the project in the wake of the less-than-stellar opening of “Poltergeist,” which featured a clown in its marketing materials."
Be embarrassed, Hollywood. You're ridiculous.