‘True Detective’ Director Cary Fukunaga Still Adapting Stephen King’s ‘IT’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 12th, 2014 at 10:45 am,

stephen king it movie director True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga Still Adapting Stephen Kings IT

Stephen King properties continue to prosper on the small screen (see: Haven, Under the Dome), even as multiple film adaptations – based on the iconic pop horror/suspense novelist’s work – have started to make their way down the pipeline. Indeed, in the past few months, we’ve seen (among other developments) the Pet Sematary remake enlist a new director, Warner Bros. actively scouting for a filmmaker to helm The Stand, and the Cell movie adaptation finishing up its casting in order to begin production this year.

One King project that we haven’t reported on since 2012 is IT, a big-screen treatment of King’s hefty best-selling novel, published in 1986 and made into a famous TV mini-series four years later (starring Tim Curry as the clown monster, Pennywise, who haunted many a child of the ’90s’ dreams). Last time we tuned in, acclaimed cinematographer-turned writer/director Cary Fukunaga had just been recruited to get the ball rolling again, after the project had spent the previous few years trudging along to, essentially, a complete stop (at that time).

Producer Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes) added a new hit intellectual property to his belt this past weekend when The LEGO Movie opened big at the box office, and while promoting the animated feature/toy adaptation, he provided Collider (hat tip STYD) with an update on Fukunaga’s prospective IT adaptation:

“… Cary Fukunaga is writing and directing Stephen King’s It for me, and I’m really excited for that.  So I’m hoping that’ll be his next movie after the indie he’s shooting in Africa.  So I love what he did with True Detective.  I think it’s a great sample for Stephen King’s It.  So I’m really excited about that.”

The “indie he’s shooting in Africa” in this case refers to Beasts of No Nation, Fukunaga’s adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s novel – about an African child soldier – that will include award-winner Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) in a key role. According to previous reports, Fukunaga is going to be collaborating on the IT script with Chase Palmer – Fukunaga’s writing partner on the developing project No Blood, No Guts, No Glory – with the intention of covering King’s (more than) 1,000 pages-long source material during the course of two feature-length films.

cary fukunaga stephen king it 570x294 True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga Still Adapting Stephen Kings IT

Cary Fukunaga, left, filming ‘Jane Eyre’

It’s not clear yet whether a two-part movie is still the plan for IT, though nowadays that’s not so much of a far-fetched idea, with young adult franchises (Harry Potter, Twilight and later this year, The Hunger Games) and recent genre tentpoles (see: The Hobbit) having popularized the practice – demonstrating just how lucrative the box office reward can be. Not only is a King property like IT arguably popular enough to justify such a move from a business perspective, artistically the story lends itself to such an adaptation – as the novel alternates between two time periods (the 1950s and 1980s), yet revolves around younger and older versions of the same characters.

HBO’s Fukunaga-directed True Detective limited series relies upon a related narrative structure, wherein extended flashbacks set during the mid-1990s are framed with scenes featuring the same lead characters in the year 2012. Moreover, the acclaimed detective drama has exposed Fukunaga’s technical mastery of pure visual storytelling to a larger audience than that which saw his arthouse releases (see: Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), while having also illustrated his ability to weave a yarn that is both fairly atmospheric, yet at the same time character-focused and contemplative.

In other words: an IT movie by Fukunaga sounds all the more promising now, perhaps even more so if it were to be split up into two separate movies. Let us know if you agree and/or what your feelings are towards this particular Stephen King project in general, in the comments section of this article.


We’ll keep you updated on the IT movie(s) as more information becomes available.

Source: Collider [via STYD]

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  1. Just got done reding this, and watching the mini-series. I believe that a film adaptation could do this story better justice, what with its extremely graphic material. I really hope this still happens, but 2 years seems like a long time to adapt it…

  2. You can’t capture Stephen King in a single ‘full length’ movie. You need at LEAST a mini-series to allow time for the dread to build.

    I’d like to see it done more in the format of Kingdom Hospital.

  3. one of my favorite novels . i would love to see a movie of this in this day and age since the technology is so hi tech now . i cant wait fir this film to release !

    i m excited about a pet sematary remake because i absolutley love the original film . and book
    but i still wouldnt mind seeing it .

    • opps im not excited about a per sematary remake i meant to write !

  4. Wow I never read a post that repeats itself so much. Same thing over and over… Then reworded and reapeted

  5. OK so folks at first seeing the possibility of this remake I was shocked. I am not very big on remakes but over the years have given credit where credit is due whereas given the times of the originals we lacked things like effects and so on as well as the ability to be able to show more on TV. Now mind you this is my favorite Stephen King novel and Tim Curry is one of my favorite actors with a voice and a look that can still haunt generations to this day. This was one of my biggest nightmares as a child that drew me into the horror fan I am today so you can see my dismay. So I sat and read and thought… The mini series was a way to try to fit the whole story in but there were limits on what they could show on TV so I can agree with that. There is so much more darker and deeper parts in the novel that not many people know unless they have read it so I would not mind seeing that brought to life so when this happens I would be more into the idea of breaking the movie into two. If you are going to bring out more from the book while still trying to get all the story in, this is the best move I think. I will always give something a chance once and will keep an eye out on the updates but as of now I am conflicted. It feels like remaking part of myself so we shall see what happens…

  6. I see this more as a limited episode mini-series than as a movie, or even two movies, to be honest. Just too much material to cover.

    I like Fukunaga’s style, and I think what I’ve seen on True Detective suggests he’d probably be able to capture Derry well, but I’m sure I will hate whatever the final product is because I’ve spent far too much time picturing exactly what it would look like in my head. Nothing to be done.

  7. If the CGI doesn’t get outta control, and Tim Curry is cast as the clown, could be a great film…..

  8. Could Tim Curry PLEASE be Pennywise again?
    …… prettyplease…?

    • Please, God, no. Way too over the top. Turned a monster that is supposed to be the essence of childhood’s most primal nightmares into a bald guy with a throat infection. About as scary as half a slug. Get a much more understated actor/performance. Michael Emerson, for example.

  9. Cary Fukunaga bringing out a version of ‘It’ gets me more excited than most toddlers get on Christmas Eve.