Director Andy Muschietti's adaptations of Stephen King's IT would go on to be some of the most successful horror films of all time, but before Muschietti got involved, director of the first season of True Detective Cary Joji Fukunaga was attached to the adaptation, with the filmmaker recently detailing how he would have borrowed a page from The Shining for his take on the material. Interestingly, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining initially earned mixed results due to its emphasis on drama over abject horror, with even King himself being one of the most vocal critics of the 1980 adaptation.
"I was on that for four or five years with Warners and then it got moved to New Line [Pictures], right before we were about to go into production," Fukunaga explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "I think New Line's view of what they wanted and my view of what I wanted were very different. I wanted to do a drama with horror elements, more like The Shining. I think they wanted to do something more [pure horror] like Annabelle [from the Conjuring films]. That was essentially the disconnect."
Understandably, parting ways from the project so close to production starting could have caused some complications, though Fukunaga pointed out, "If I was a difficult director, [producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee] wouldn't necessarily want to be working with me."
This is only the latest instance of the filmmaker addressing his approach to the material, having explained back in 2015 why he ultimately departed the project.
"I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn't fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience," Fukunaga disclosed to Variety. "Our budget was perfectly fine. We were always hovering at the $32-million mark, which was their budget. It was the creative that we were really battling. It was two movies. They didn't care about that. In the first movie, what I was trying to do was an elevated horror film with actual characters. They didn't want any characters. They wanted archetypes and scares. I wrote the script. They wanted me to make a much more inoffensive, conventional script. But I don't think you can do proper Stephen King and make it inoffensive."
Fukunaga's latest, No Time to Die, is set to hit theaters on October 8th.
Do you wish we had gotten Fukunaga's IT? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!