Stephen King’s ‘It’ Getting Two-Film Adaptation by ‘Jane Eyre’ Director

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 11th, 2014 at 5:52 am,

it stephen king movie Stephen Kings It Getting Two Film Adaptation by Jane Eyre Director

Warner Bros. has been planning a film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1,138 page novel It for the past three years. The last substantial report on the project was nearly two years ago, with an update from screenwriter David Kajganich (The Invasion, Blood Creek) about the challenge of fitting King’s massive literature into a 2-3 hour movie.

Now, we have word that the project is still lurching forward; however, It (no pun) has taken on a radically new form. King’s source material will now be covered over the course of two films, as co-written and directed by Cary Fukunaga. It’s probably safe to assume that Kajganich’s script draft has been abandoned, at this point.

Fukunaga began his career as a cinematographer, before breaking out as a writer and director with the immigration drama Sin Nombre at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The critical success of last year’s Jane Eyre (which Fukunaga also helmed) has propelled the filmmaker to greater things, including a job working on the HBO TV series True Detectives – and now, the task of bringing It to the big screen.

Heat Vision says that Chase Palmer will co-write the It script with Fukunaga; the two are also collaborating on the upcoming No Blood, No Guts, No Glory. Onboard to produce the two-movie venture are such big names as seasoned horror producer Roy Lee (The Ring, Grudge), Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes), and KatzSmith Production heads Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and David Katzenberg (The Hard Times of RJ Berger).

Cary Fukunaga True Detectives Stephen Kings It Getting Two Film Adaptation by Jane Eyre Director

Cary Fukunaga will direct two movies based on King’s ‘It’

King’s It novel tells the tale of the “Losers Club,” a pack of outcast teens living in Derry, Maine (circa 1957). The “Losers” discover that a vicious, shape-shifting monster – who often takes on the form of a demented clown called Pennywise – is preying on the town’s children. Eventually, the “Losers” seemingly kill the creature – though they swear a pact to reunite, should Pennywise ever come back. Sure enough, some 27 years later, a string of murders in Derry points to the monster’s return. But will painful memories of the past prevent the former friends from joining forces again, in order to destroy Pennywise once and for all?

It was previously adapted into a 3-hour, single-camera, TV mini-series back in 1990. As was pointed out by Kajganich (back when he was working on the project) that the TV version really could not do justice to the more gruesome and adult content of King’s literature. Moreover, Fukunaga will also have the advantage of an extra 1-2 hours of running time to cover the full story material – which is still a pretty daunting task, as the book is split between two parallel-running, intertwining narrative threads (one set in 1957-58, the other 1984-85).

As it were, Warner Bros. already has another movie adaptation of a King novel in the works, which was also previously brought to life in TV mini-series form: The Stand. Similar to ItThe Stand is being overseen by a credible filmmaker (namely, Ben Affleck) and is expected to spread out its respective 1,000 pages of source material over the course of at least two, maybe even three, movies. While the studio definitely loves the built-in “franchise” potential of these King projects, both It and The Stand should benefit (artistically) from not being constricted to a single-movie format.

mia wasikowska jane eyre Stephen Kings It Getting Two Film Adaptation by Jane Eyre Director

Mia Wasikowska in ‘Jane Eyre’

In this writer’s opinion, Fukunaga possesses an eye for impeccable, haunting cinematography (no surprise, given his background) and is a good match to handle King’s book – which is rife with dark melodrama and much of the religious/social commentary that are nowadays known as the author’s bread and butter, when it comes to his horror literature.

As to whether or not most people want to see a two-movie adaptation of It – feel free to debate that as you will, in the comments section.

We will keep you updated on the status of Fukunaga’s It adaptation as the story develops.

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Source: THR

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  1. Two words, Sid Haig…. look it up and watch his movies… you all call for tim curry.. watch this guy in house of 1000 corpses…

    • I think would do a pretty good job, but I’m hoping they either find someone new or ask Tim Curry again. :)

      • Edit: Sid Haig’s name was omitted for some reason.

  2. Can’t wait to see this! PLEASE use Tim Curry as Pennywise again. He scared the hell out of me in the original. No Johnny Depp or for the love of God, NO NICHOLAS CAGE!!!!

  3. I am excited and terrified at the same time. That movie scared the crap out of me!

  4. What great news! I found the book “IT” the second scariest book I’ve ever read. (The 1st being “HELTER SKELTER”. I thought the 1st stab with the IT miniseries was pretty good, minus the ending, and I very much look forward to the “reboot”. I too thought of Jack Nicholson, but can see Johnny Depp playing Pennywise, too. Or Robin Williams? Hugh Laurie?

  5. I am a Great fan of Mr. King, but his inability to end a story coupled with Hollywoods inability to follow a storyline and i see a train wreck comeing. Spend the money on The Gunslinger i will go see that.

    • Gunslinger = worst ending ever!

      • Awww…come on! Worst ending ever? I liked both endings. Roland finally approaching the tower and leaving it to your imagination of what was inside and the one where he gets to the top and the story starts over again. The last sentence of the book being the first sentence of the series was pretty cool. Be a great flick!

  6. I think the two narratives(the past and present) should be split between the two movies. Have the first be only about the Losers club as kids, and the second only about them as adults. Shifting back and forth breaks the tension of the scenes in the past because we already know that all of the kids survive into adulthood.

    As the Nostalgia Critic once said, “This is really thrilling because I have no idea who’s going to make it out alive except for all of them.”

  7. Another REMAKE!!!!!!!?????? Stop Stop Stop!!!! I think with the millions of dollars that go into movies you could at least afford somebody with a creative mind!!!! IT has already been made. A great movie we know the story…now lets move on folks. Gezzzzzz this is pathetic!!!!!!!

    • It’s not a remake of the TV miniseries, it’s a re-adaptation of the novel. It will supposedly be more faithful to the novel and be much scarier.

    • I know what you mean, Sam. I felt the same when I saw the article. I’m tired of hearing about rehashes. I want to see some originality and creativity.

      • Didn’t they do The Dark Half with Timothy Hutton? I love Hutton but don’t remember the movie being so great. I liked the book.

        • that movie was terrible. i was hoping for so much better but the dialogue was really cheesy. terrible adaption.

    • I agree that most re-makes are crap and are from films that didn’t need them (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hills have Eyes, etc)The original IT wasn’t very good, the only good thing about it was some of the actor’s playing the kids and Tim Curry. This is the one time where it actually needs a re-make.

      I’m hoping for a decent remake of Needful Things, that movie was god awful.

  8. Sorry but I’m really not all that excited about another adaptation of It. Long time fan of King, It was too long and for me at least far my favorite work of his. I’m sure many of us who fall into the category of long time or hardcore fans would rather see The Gunslinger, personally I’d really be psyched if they did The Dark Half. For me that was one of King’s best to date.

    • Didn’t they do The Dark Half with Timothy Hutton? I love Hutton but don’t remeber the movie being so great. I liked the book.

  9. You serious? IT is a complete 180 from Jane Eyre!. Why not bring in William Peter Blatty who gave us a movie that tied with Stephen King’s The Shining for the scariest movie of all time : The Exorcist

  10. I have been reading King Since i was 12, I would love to see IT as a full out movie(or multiple movies), because there was so much not included in the mini-series. I just hope the characters are as portrayed in the movie the way they were in the book… These kids were not quite innocent little children. I also hope to see the ritual of CHUD, and the more indepth story of the “Bad Kids” namely Henry Bowers and his crew… Dont forget the massive storm and destruction in Derry in 58. This book was one of my absolute favorites. I really hope it is as dark and deep as a movie as it was as a novel. Dont forget It was an Alien!

    • I completely agree, Ken!

    • +1

    • +2

  11. For God’s sake, why cant’ people just read the book..its all there and the imagination makes it fly. If King wanted it to be a 30 year exploitation he would have started a magazine.

    • Kathy you are right on point. People who are not familiar with King’s work do not understand why his books are not as successful as movie adaptions. Stehpen King at the time “It” was written was at the top of his game, a master story teller. There is no way it can be translated or adapted to the big screen because no movie can live up to a reader’s imagination. That is why Ann Rice (Another great story teller) was spooked when “Interview With A Vampire” was made. So people are and will continue to be disappointed in film adaptions of his work. Frankly I don’t understand why they keep trying. Readers of King will never be satisfied.

      • i have been reading king since 83, and i have been pleased by several adaptions. Shawshank, Green mile, Misery, Stand by me (the body), and hope they can do some justice with a couple of films for this. also hoping afleck can pull off the stand

        • True, but it can also go completely the other way. Remember “The Running Man”? That movie was so different from the book, the only thing the same was the names of the characters and the show.

          • King didn’t write The Running Man. A guy named Richard Bachman did. :)

            • Richard Bachman is Stephen King, it is a pseudonym

              • I was being, unsuccessfully, facetious.

    • Making a movie can actually encourage people to check out the book, though. Just taking Stephen King as an example, I probably wouldn’t have bothered reading “Misery” or “The Green Mile” if I hadn’t seen the movies first.

  12. I’d much rather have a film of THE EYES OF THE DRAGON made than have IT, CARRIE, THE STAND, etc. re-adapted, re-imagined, or remade.

    That is my favorite King novel, and it would wonderful to see on the big screen.

    • With Winona Ryder as the Queen.

  13. Wow! Hopefully they can do justice to the story this time. The original miniseries was pretty good, but very lightweight compared to the book. My only fear is that they completely CGI the whole thing, like every other movie these days, with an animated IT/Pennywise. Put a human in the clown suit (preferably Tim Curry again).

    • Tim Curry was the scariest Pennywise I can imagine. I don’t think anyone would be better. Maybe close, but not better. IT is a frightening book, and I am looking forward to a new adaption. Fukunaga did a beautiful job on Jane Eyre. I am eagerly awaiting his take on King!

  14. How, did you guys feel about, “The Mist?”

    • i liked it, but that ending was f’d up!

    • I love The Mist.
      Have you seen it in B&W?
      Darabont wanted to release it that way but the studio said no. It gives it a much more creepy vibe and IMO even better.

  15. Please, the mini series never came close to his original vision! I would prefer they make it a triology so that they can come full circle with all the kids then as adults remembering thier childhood then as adults warring with thier childhood fears. Mr King is by far and away my favorite author fromt he time I picked up Salems Lot. ( hmmmmmm maybe they could do another ‘lot)but I would really prefer hbo pickup they Dark Tower saga as a series, just so they could do it justice and hopefully not end it like rome. LOL
    Just sayin…………….

  16. Gosh, I was so scared of this movie back in ’90

  17. I love King and all he has written but, the film makers can never do his work justice no matter how hard they try his work is just to complex to try to make a decent movie I always wind up disappointed and this guy who’s doing IT made a remake of Jane Eyre and it was empty.

  18. LET’S hope he gets it right… I first read the book in the summer of “87″
    I was 7 mos. pregnant.. I could not look at clowns in the same way, having been dragged to
    Barnum & Bailey Circus’es in my younger years…and rodoes in the west…
    I could only hop the Stephens’ mentor Ray Bradbury would say…. hop they
    get it right ….

  19. King always has scary stuff and i think it might be ok, However i think they should leave this film alone, i understand they left alot out from the book. Most remakes are awful and this is a classic and lets leave it that way. I wish there was more than 2 episodes of bag of bones they should work on finishing that. Hell might as well remake Pet cemetary. lol

    • They are remaking Pet Semetary. Along with Carrie, again, if you hadn’t heard.

  20. IT could be great or IT could be a hack job I could see it going either way… The Dark Tower Series would have me at the movies with money in hand.. Just my opinion but I think Needful Things would be a good movie…

    • They made Needful Things in 1993. As you’ve proven, it was pretty forgettable. Not awful, not great, just there.

      • I do recall that now you mention it… blah

  21. Just let rob zombie do the whole thing……

  22. FYI The Dark Half was already a movie. Several of Kings books have made it into movies of some sort. You have The Shining with Nicholson-not even close to the book, as was the same with The Dark Half, Cujo, and many others so hopefully they fix that problem. The Stand was closeer but still had severe differences from the book. I hope they can actually follow the sory line. Although the Gunslinger series would be great, the ending would be a HUGE let down as the book was. You really can’t split It into the the first movie of 1950s and then 1980s. The book melts the 2 together for a reason and if you wait for the second movie certain events will not make any sense to anyone who has not read the books.

  23. Well let’s see IT and the Stand to be movies. Great idea. The coming years is going to be all Stephen King in the movie theater. We can hold the TV mini series in our hearts. Seeing these books as a movies would allow us to see what our imagination has scared ourselves with since we read the books. The one plea that I have is do not deviate from the books At ALL.

  24. It and The Stand both deserve remakes! Although I liked the ones that were put out, they could be soooo much better. No Tim Curry or John Boy though please! Need darker adaptions to make them perfect films. And I’ve been waiting on the Dark Tower series forever! It’s a shame so much time has passed. Clint Eastwood, about the time of Unforgiven, would have been perfect as Roland. Viggo Mortensen would have to be my top pick now. Get em done!

    • I said the same thing, Viggo Mortensen would be perfect for Roland.

  25. Why not Talisman? One of Kings best works, and not yet adapted! PLEASE!!!

    • there have been a couple attempts to get that one done, and i thought there was supposed to be a tnt movie on it, but i guess it never happened. i read that book when it came out, then i remember a year or so later steven speilberg had the film rights, but nothing ever happened with it, and i LOVED that book. the sequel was pretty good too.

  26. I really want this to be made. I am such a fan of the original mini series, and I just want to see the story have a bigger um…I just hope it gets made, heh

  27. I’m actually excited about this. IT deserves a proper film adaptation. It’s a classic work of horror fiction. Jackie Earle Haley would make a great Pennywise.

  28. Tim Curry didn’t scare me at all as Pennywise. The TV adaption of the book was mediocre at best. I can remember that book scaring the crap out of me years ago when I read it and I always hoped they would make a movie out of it. But this made for TV stuff can’t do a violent and intense novel like that any justice. Please come out with a theatrical version of this.

  29. Hard to imagine a better Pennywise than Tim Curry, but then again I thought Jack Nicholson was the ideal Joker and Heath Ledger (RIP) took that role to a whole new (and dark) level. Odds are the makers of these films won’t want to use Curry because they want to be sure they aren’t confused with being associated with the previous adaptation. James Woods? I saw Hugh Laurie and Robin Williams both mentioned. Possibly. Williams plays dark characters very well…probably due to his manic-depressive bipolar disorder.

    • I saw something on TV last night that Ms. Doubfire is being recut as a horror film!!!!

      • I saw that too. Just somebody made a horror trailer with some freaky music and flashy cut scenes. Pretty cool.