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. Someone above mentioned “The Mist” May be THE best King movie; however, the non-horror movies have usually been the best (Stand By Me, The Green Mile, and Misery – which isn’t horror, more thriller.) This is so, I believe, because King is a much better plain-old-story-teller than most give him credit for.

    • totally agree

    • Not a fan of The Green Mile, but Misery and Stand By Me are great. “I’m gonna get out my Liberace records!”

      The Dead Zone wasn’t bad, although it had a bit of a soap opera feel… a bit of dullness. Carrie was well done, although I still really disagree with having Desjardin laugh so much at the pig’s blood. It was out of character.

      The Shining (film) was rather poor, particularly the finger motion, which was not in the book as I recall.

    • Shawshank Redemption

      • For some reason peoples always forget about Shawshank Redemption.

    • what about the shining?

  2. Beep beep, Richie, beep beep!

    • Saw a couple of old friends in 11/22/63. Bevy from the Levy and Ritchie from the Ditchee!

  3. Finally!!! This is long overdue. Hugh Laurie, from “House”, should be Pennywise the Dancing Clown. He would be perfect!

    • I don’t think so maybe jackie earl Haley who played the new freddie

      • Patton Oswald!

      • ABSOLUTELY

        • jackie earl Haley not oswald. Boom

          • Paul Giamatti as Pennywise

  4. sounds great to me! this was one of my favorite books and movies as a child, scared the crap outta me. looking forward to a fresh adaptation

  5. Damn right I WANT to see a two movie adaptation of “IT”.

  6. Umm… Why?
    The first movie (or miniseries, or whatever) wasn’t all that scary. It was a movie about a murdering clown, and I couldn’t take that seriously. When I was a kid I just thought it was an unfunny violent comedy, and it sure didn’t make me want to go read the book or want a readaptation some years later.
    Now, I’m not saying that Fukunaga couldn’t make it scary, and I’m not saying that the book was bad, I’m just wondering why someone would rather redo a horror story where everyone knows who is going to die, how they die, what the murderer’s secret is, and how he is killed, than make an original story where it’s a mystery?
    I know money plays a large part in it but I would much rather spend my $8 on a ticket to a movie that was an all new experience to me rather than go see a rehashed story that I could recite in my sleep.

    Besides, you know in your heart, whether you admit it or not, that about 65-90% of the people who goes to see it is going to say it sucks, and there’s a good chance that the internet will agree with them.

    In closing, if you are excited for this movie I hope you enjoy yourself, but personally I’d rather have a new horror movie to laugh at.

    • Because Hollywood hasn’t had an original idea in YEARS. I haven’t seen a movie that wasn’t a reboot, remake, re-imagining, sequel or adaptation of some other source since I was a kid. Even the movies you think are original, aren’t. Just for an example, take Avatar, replace blue aliens with Native Americans and you’ve got Dances With Wolves damn near to the letter. So I say if they are going to remake a movie let it be one that has room for improvement. IT was great, but because it was a Tv movie they toned down or left out damn near a third of the book. So yeah I want to see an adaptation of a story I already know I like, and I can hope that this time they can stick too the book I’ve read a dozen times.

      • The average writer’s salary is, what? $5,000 a year?

        If they’re not paying many writers, they’re not going to get many fresh ideas.

    • The same reason why they adapt comics, say Avengers, Batman, Superman and other books like LOTR, Narnia, Twilight, Harry Potter etc…not every one read the books and those who do would still love to see it translated to film rather than just inside their mind…

    • I think not everybody KNOWS about it,and how everybody dies or what so ever !
      There are a lot of Lazy Rats out side,me included,who do not read much,and just wait for a good Movie ! :)

    • If you’ve only seen the 1990s movie than you only have the barest notion of what the story actually is. That’s like reading the story summary on the jacket of the book rather than actually reading the book.

      Saying ‘IT’ was about a murdering clown is like saying ‘Moby Dick’ was about a whale.

    • i knew what happened to titanic, and Wyatt Earp and doc.
      sorry mate but sometimes i like new stuff or old remade.
      some work for me ie The Thing from Another World vs john c the thing
      some dont work for me true grit vs true grit ( although some of my friend liked the new one more)

      the point is, lets see what it is like and then have a go :)

  7. I am usually one of the first people to ridicule or lament over prequels and remakes. This however I am pretty excited about. This “new” movie is not a remake of the mini-series per se, but a reimagining of the novel. I throroughly enjoyed the mini-series. I thought it was actually really great, for what it was. What it wasn’t was a faithful interpretation of the book.
    I just hope they do it justice and don’t screw around with it, it’s all pretty much there in black and white. (At least IT is ALREADY an alien) And I wish people would not look at it as a remake of a cheesy 80′s made-for-TV drama, but look at it as proper adaptation of the book, something which “IT” deserves.

  8. I wonder how they’re going to tackle the underage gangbang scene at the end of the book… Looking forward to this, loved the book and the many darker and violent scenes left out of the miniseries, which, although a bit naff now, did frighten the bejesus out of me.

  9. I’m pretty excited about ‘It’ to be honest. The tv series was great, but has aged pretty badly, and with products like that, it’s worth doing a remake for the next generation. Not read the book, but you know for a fact they’re not going to include any overly dodgy bits – definitely not a gangbang! Either way, could be good and not that many similar films have been released since then.

    The Stand on the other hand – you’ve had Contagion and Outbreak. Also, it will be interesting how they handle genre. It begins as a disaster movie, then slowly becomes a horror finishing with action. If Ben Affleck’s going to take the risk and make 3 films of 3 different genres, it could be an unconventional masterpiece or a proper disaster.

  10. It looks interesting enough. I might give it a shot if it comes out. I personally enjoyed the first movie. I have a fear of clowns thanks to the original movie. Still, entertaining though. I wish they would let Tim Curry voice Pennywise to keep it authentic. That’s how I remember the movie.

    A different voice would certainly disappoint me. I know that they won’t use Tim Curry. But bottom line, I would be willing to give it a shot.

  11. Honestly, Tim Curry is the only person I can imagine playing Pennywise the clown. He was absolutely perfect. Nobody else!

  12. Alright —

    I turned 30 a few weeks ago, and remember the TV miniseries EXTREMELY well. I was 7/8 years old when it premiered, and although I have seen it more recently without issue (after all, a TV miniseries fundamentally cant be too terrifying) – at the time that movie scared the living $h*t out of me!!! Literally for years that followed I couldn’t walk past a storm drain without getting a shiver.

    I am thrilled about the potential for a NEW adaptation because I feel as though modern horror movies have become far too effects driven and fueled by repetitive and recycled milieus (see large chested girl screaming as dark entity somehow corners her). ‘It’ is a true masterpiece and although it is hardly unique in this respect, it bring the terrifying nature of clowns to a whole new level.

    I am not too familiar with the director’s resume but I hope for the best. However one important comment— there is NO WAY that they will find someone better than Tim Curry to play Pennywise/It/Bob-Gray/The Deadlights. Not only is his voice incomparably terrifying, but his theatricality managed to sell the character to the audience in a truly frightening but entertaining way. Good lucky trying to repeat that.

  13. I love the book but that going to be nightmare to adapt and do justice to the orginal work. We are talking about a story split in two timeline plus the Hanlon diaries. Not to mention the constant use of flashback even inside a timeline. Aside from HBO picking up the TV rights and giving IT the “Game of Thrones” treatment I have not much hope.

  14. I am very interested in seeing what this movie becomes. “It”, the book actually gave me the shivers and I do not scare easily. I also wanted to comment about a comment… Teddy KGB spoke of being a kid when the mini-series It first aired. I was around the same age when Salem’s Lot hit the air and it scared the crap out of me! I am a huge fan of horror, and I feel like a good scare gives us the kind of high we all need. Of course, a good laugh generally works as well…

  15. Because of audible, I have listened to IT three times of the past couple of months. There is so much to the novel that I find myself starting the audio play over as soon as I’m finished. As far as I’m concerned this is one of King’s better novels and that is saying a lot. I hope they find the right voice and stay as true to the source material as possible. What a great treat to see It brought to the big screen in style.

  16. I am SO excited about this, however, I am SO scared of the underage gang bang scene. Every time I read that I cring. I DO hope they keep it in the movie, cause it WAS a good part, but if they do, that’s when I plan to take a bathroom break. I just can’t do underage kids having sex, especially at that age.

    But I SO want this SO bad.

  17. Please remake been waiting forever!

  18. The Shining is one of the best horror movies of all time because the director was right for the project and brought the true horror of the story to life. Even with changes made and things left out, it still works as a master work of horror.

    Many people consider ‘IT’ to be Stephen King’s magnum opus. Saying the 80s movie did not do it justice is an understatement (even though Tim Curry’s performance was incredible!) Even though what is ‘allowed’ into horror films has changed a lot, there are still things that people have trouble tolerating, mainly the brutal killing of young children by gruesome monsters.

    In my opinion, if they can’t show leeches and monsters slaughtering 10 year olds or a puppy dying from being kept too long in a dumpster refrigerator, than they cannot even begin to touch upon the brain altering horror of Stephen King’s IT. If you can’t do it right, don’t even attempt to do it.

    I hope the director will fight for what’s in the book!

    • Times have changed. They can show all King’s horror in a movie now. So much of the book was left out or changed. Although it will be difficult to find someone who can come close to matching Tim Curry’s brilliant performance of Pennywise, I would really love to see It remade. Two 3 hour movies should allow them to work in the whole book and do it right. Considering the prices we pay for movie tickets 3 hours is not too long.

  19. I was frightened by the IT TV mini-series. I thought it was the best horror movie I’ve ever seen.

    I am currently reading the novel for the first time right now. I have read a few spoilers but nothing too bad (the gangbang).

    I am excited about this new film and also hope that it will do the book justice.

    If you want to talk about a movie that did its book justice watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s almost a word-for-word adaptation with only a few things different.

    The only problem with that movie is the scene where Hunter Thompson takes adrenaline. The movie depicts a hallucinogenic experience and the book has him amped into the next dimension.

  20. Leen is absolutely correct! I haven’t seen a horror movie that REALLY disturbed me since “The Exorcist” (a perfect example of a child under attack). And I’ll tell you why…It’s because William Friedkin didn’t give a (hoot?) what hollywood censors thought. He was a realist with a vision of the novel, and he was going to honor that vision by making the events in the film as realistic as possible. And what an incredible job he did! HE should be directing “IT”. So I agree with LEEN. If audiences can’t handle (obviously upsetting) scenes of violence against children, then don’t make the movie. Me? I’m not looking to be spooked by a horror movie. The word is “HORROR”. If a horror movie doesn’t upset me…if it can’t invoke a little trauma and cause my jaw to drop, then it hasn’t done its job.

  21. Instead of calling it an underage “gangbang” call it what it was. They had sex to tighten their bond to one another to make them strong enough to defeat “IT” calling it a gangbang kinda takes away from what they were trying to accomplish

  22. I think IT will make an amazing pair of movies. i would almost say a trilogy, but then it’s spread out a bit much. However, if they make It into two 3-hour movies, it could be enough time and it will still hit as hard as the book does. The Stand being a trilogy is also a perfect choice and the decision to make the Dark Tower into movies as well is brilliant in today’s multi-movie fantasy atmosphere, coupled with everyone’s love for Stephen King and Aaron Paul. What everyone is doing with his novel adaptations is really smart at the moment and I patiently await all of them. I personally think Under the Dome should have stuck to being one season, but I am excited to see where it is going. I also eagerly await to see if Dreamcatcher will ever be a movie.

    I would also like to second the opinion that so far, the best Stephen King movies are his non-horror movies. Namely, Misery, Stand By Me and The Green Mile. None of which I have read since I’ve had trouble finding them.

    On the topic of King adaptations, I should get around to reading both The Stand and The Dark Tower graphic novels, but does anyone here agree that both It and Under the Dome would make fantastic graphic novel series?

  23. I personally can not wait for this movie!!! I never thought the made for t.v. Miniseries ever made people aware of how truly scary pennywise was in the book…..if u seen the movie n didnt read the the book u just thought pennywise was creepy….hes a truly horrifying character!! Hurry with the movie!!

  24. Personally I would like to see King’s book Rose Madder made into a movie. It’s an awesome book!!!!

  25. the mini series was half good. the first part with the kids was well done. the second half was poorly cast and the ending like most king movies was a let down.

  26. Steve Buscemi and Willem Dafoe, top 2 choices. Others that come to mind are Tim Roth (but he is kinda short), Hugh Laurie, Crispin Glover, Jason Isaacs, maybe Alan Cummings or Woody Harrelson. Christian Slater is a bit of a reach, so are Matthew Lillard and Kevin Bacon. Maybe Robin Williams, just maybe, but he’s also a little short as well. Probably not John C. Reilly, though Reilly could be a buff, blue collar, “strongman” kind of clown in a different movie… Probably more the dopey, nice kind of clown, not the scary kind… And Jim Carrey… Carrey, Carrey, Carrey… Just not quite the right character for him. Oh, Carrey is manic all right. But he isn’t… quite… “evil”… enough… Cillian Murphy is also too “young” looking. Robert Downey Jr. is too “heroic” after being in Iron Man for the last several years… Yeah, its gotta be either Steve Buscemi or Willem Dafoe. First choice: Buscemi. Second choice: Dafoe.

  27. “IT”, like “Christine” was never done right in the first place, not if you’ve ever read the books. So, some movies deserve to be made over.

    I for one hope to soon read news of a Christine remake.

  28. 1) in addition to the 2 movies, bring back the old style 4-part “serial” months ahead as advert/preview/background. Ex: 2 losers; 2 more losers; 2 more losers; & condensed Penny wise soliloquy/ condensed apoctolypc rock fight. Makes for great tie ins and extras!

    2) Hugh Laurie as Pennywise!

    3) Penny wise montage ala Ben Vereen Glory/”Manson Trio”.

    I wish my uncle William Craig Smith ((Prophecy/Wild Wild West) were alive to help out!

  29. I am excited to see a big-budget Hollywood production of IT. The tv version was cringe-worthy {in an embarrassing way). The only thing scary about it was the bad acting and cheesy dialog. And I can’t wait to see a professional special effects makeup artist give Pennywise the frightening, murderous image he deserves.