Before Andy Muschietti brought Stephen King’s IT to life with his hugely successful two-part feature adaptation, another director was attached in No Time To Die’s Cary Fukunaga, with Will Poulter set to star in the film as Pennywise, the role that Bill Skarsgård would eventually land.
This project ultimately never came to be, and Fukunaga has finally opened up about why in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, with the filmmaker claiming that the studios didn’t like his more dramatic approach to the subject matter, as they wanted more horror.
“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,” says Fukunaga. “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 like Annabelle. That was essentially the disconnect.”
The filmmaker and the studio did get pretty far along the process before creative differences became too much. Three weeks before production was slated to begin, Fukunaga left the project. The film finally saw Gary Dauberman tackling the script, and Andy Muschietti stepping in to direct, while Fukunaga and Palmer did receive writing credits for the first film.
Fukunaga would eventually executive produce and direct episodes of Netflix’s Maniac and the TNT drama The Alienist, while his next film, the James Bond adventure No Time To Die, will finally see its release starting September 30th.