There’s nothing scarier than a demented, child-killing, sewer-dwelling clown. So rather than follow in the footsteps of the 1990 miniseries version of Stephen King’s terror tome, starring a creepy Tim Curry in the role of Pennywise, Cary Fukunaga is going young. Variety reports that New Line and Fukunaga have cast Will Poulter, 22, as the titular demon that haunts a group of seven outcast friends.
Fukunaga reportedly considered older actors like stage thesp Mark Rylance and “Bloodline” star Ben Mendelsohn for the part, but was “blown away by Poulter’s audition.” The British actor broke out in New Line’s “We’re the Millers,” starred in “The Maze Runner” and will soon be seen in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s dark western “The Revenant” as a robber who leaves Leonardo DiCaprio for dead.
Production is slated to begin this Summer on Fukunaga’s two-part “It,” which the busy 37-year-old director assures will stay close to King’s 900-page horror epic, with one movie focusing on the protagonists as kids and the other focusing on their adult lives as they reunite to put their monsters to rest. Stephen King is reportedly a fan of the script, co-written by Fukunaga and Chase Palmer. “It” marks Fukunaga’s first film to shoot in the US.
At Tribeca, he addressed the genesis of the project: “The image I always see is that white face in the sewer,” he said. “I haven’t really gotten much past that part. I can tell you that children die in all of my films…’It’ will cap off my children dying series. Hopefully after that, I’ll move into much more pleasant fare.”
While Fukunaga directed all eight episodes of “True Detective”‘s first season, he stepped back to assume the role of executive producer on the second season, premiering June 21. Later this year, his Participant Media-backed drama “Beasts of No Nation,” also a Red Crown coproduction, will open day and date on Netflix and in theaters. Fukunaga will also be teaming with the “Brokeback Mountain” writers on an inspiring father-son drama from A24.
Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg will co-produce “It” through their KatzSmith banner while Dan Lin and Roy Lee are also producing. Niija Kuykendall, Dave Neustadter and Walter Hamada will oversee for Warner Bros. and New Line. Production is slated to begin this summer.