Two massively popular (and massively long) Stephen King novels, The Stand and It, are in the process of getting multi-movie adaptations, having previously been adapted as TV mini-series back in the 1990s. Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) is planning to make four movies based on The Stand, with production on the first installment on pace to commence around mid-2015; near the same time, it turns out, Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre (2011)) may begin principal photography on the first of two films based on King's horror/drama, It.
Fukunaga's been onboard as co-screenwriter and director for the It two-part movie adaptation for the past couple years; in that time, his credibility has only continued to improve, thanks to his direction on season one of HBO's True Detective crime/drama anthology series. His upward progress shouldn't be slowing down in 2015, either, as Fukunaga's Africa war drama Beasts of No Nation - costarring Idris Elba - could prove to be something special, when it arrives next year.
It producer Dan Lin, who is currently basking in early awards season glory right now as a producer on the critically-acclaimed The LEGO Movie, spoke with Vulture about Fukunaga's King film adaptation (which is being cowritten by relative newcomer Chase Palmer), and offered the following update on the planned production timeline.
“The idea is to start official prep in March for a summer shoot [in 2015]. Cary likes to develop things for a while, and we’ve been with this for about three or four years, so we’re super excited that he stayed with it. You guys are gonna be really excited.”
King's It book follows a group of outsiders-turned-friends, starting when they are children living in the town of Derry, Maine, in the 1950s - where they encounter and are terrorized by a malevolent, shape-shifting supernatural creature - and some thirty years later as adults, when they learn the monster from their past has resurfaced. The two movie adaptations will therefore essentially be, respectively, a supernatural horror drama/coming of age parable, and a Big Chill-style adult drama (again, with a big bad horror monster metaphor running amok).
Lin told Vulture Fukunaga is only committed to directing the first It film for now, but he's almost locked down to co-write the second movie; whether or not he passes the helmer reins to someone else for It, Part 2, remains to be seen. For what it is worth, Lin also claimed that King is very much behind Fukunaga's take on the author's source material:
"[The] response that Cary got back [from King for his 'It' script] was, ‘Go with God, please! This is the version the studio should make.’ So that was really gratifying.”
Aside from Tim Curry's delightfully hammy turn as "It" (a.k.a. Pennywise the Clown), there's arguably not a whole lot that's that memorable about the 1990 TV mini-series adaptation. By comparison, King's character-driven narrative ought to suit Fukuanaga well, seeing as he's very much an actor's director; not to mention, his keen sense for creating mood and atmosphere through pure visual storytelling techniques (a result of his strong background in cinematography) ensures his It film will feel very cinematic.
In short, as far as talent behind the camera is concerned, the first It movie adaptation sounds promising. Next step? Putting together a cast...
We'll bring you more information on the It film adaptation when it becomes available.