Busy “True Detective” helmer Cary Fukunaga originally was to bring his auteur vision to the project, as a two-part film of King’s terror tome. But he parted ways with New Line over Memorial Day weekend, just before production was set to begin in June.
“Fukunaga repeatedly clashed with the studio,” wrote The Wrap in May, “and did not want to compromise his artistic vision in the wake of budget cuts that were recently demanded by New Line, which greenlit the first film at $30 million.”
Whether or not Muschietti’s version, which is still planned as a two-parter, will still star Will Poulter as Pennywise, the child-killing clown who haunts a group of seven outcast friends, remains uncertain. Fukunaga reportedly considered older actors like stage thesp Mark Rylance and Emmy-nommed “Bloodline” star Ben Mendelsohn for the part, but was knocked over by Poulter’s audition.
Muschietti will, however, bring his sister and writing partner Barbara Muschietti aboard; producers are still Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg, who are chasing a new writer to doctor the script. Muschietti’s “Mama,” starring Jessica Chastain who was fresh off “Zero Dark Thirty” buzz at the time, scared up over $70 million at the domestic box office in January 2013.
This news originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.