If you can believe it, it’s already been over three years since director Cary Fukunaga left the IT film adaptation. In the time since then, Andy Muschietti took over helming duties and put out one of the biggest hits in 2017. In addition to impressing the mainstream, he created a film that even critics adored as a fitting take on half of the Stephen King original story.
But many of us didn’t think that’s what we’d get. Prior to his coming onto IT, Fukunaga impressed audiences with True Detective, a high-quality HBO series with dark overtones and amazing storytelling. When he jumped off the project, many thought it was a huge mistake, and simply assumed it would mark the downfall of the film.
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But what was the real reason for leaving? According to the initial reports, he clashed with the studio over budgets and his desire to make two movies instead of one. While we can’t say much about that first part, given the direction Muschietti went, it’s clear the disagreement had nothing to do with making two films. In a recent interview with GQ, Fukunaga finally opened up on why he left:
“I think it was fear on their part, that they couldn’t control me.”
Given his track record, it’s easy to understand why a studio may feel that way. After all, his stuff is hard-edged and dark and he’s a badass renegade. He’d definitely want to go all-out in this film, making it so dark it’d lose all its appeal to mainstream audiences, right? Nope:
“No, they thought they couldn’t control me. I would have been a total collaborator. That was the kind of ridiculous part. It was just more a perception. I have never seen a note and been like, Fuck you guys. No way. It’s always been a conversation.”
This goes to show how much a lack of communication regarding expectations and workflow can sour relationships between studios and filmmakers. Luckily, IT turned out to be a fantastic movie, but this is something that could have turned out much worse. Come on, Warner Bros., get your act together!
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