Cary Fukanaga Opens Up About Leaving 'IT' Behind

Last year's IT became one of the biggest cultural phenomena of 2017, with the horror film [...]

Last year's IT became one of the biggest cultural phenomena of 2017, with the horror film ultimately going on to earn more than $700 million worldwide. Despite the film's undisputed success, the project got off to a rocky start with original director Cary Fukunaga parting ways from the project, in addition to the cast undergoing shakeups. The filmmaker recently weighed in on why he parted ways from the project, claiming that the studio was creating a conflict that didn't exist.

"I think it was fear on [New Line Cinema's] part, that they couldn't control me," Fukunaga shared with GQ. "They thought they couldn't control me. I would have been a total collaborator. That was the kind of ridiculous part. It was just more a perception. I have never seen a note and been like, 'F-ck you guys. No way.' It's always been a conversation."

Fukunaga was a driving force behind HBO's True Detective, which became a cultural sensation. The filmmaker's involvement in the project seemingly created an image of Fukunaga as being a poor collaborator, which he claimed was far from the truth.

"I don't think I've ever been able to make something uncompromising," Fukunaga pointed out. "Like, someone commented on Beasts [of No Nation], 'Oh, how did it feel to make a movie that's uncompromising?' Like, uncompromising? I had to rewrite my entire third act 'cause we didn't have the money to finish the film. We compromise all over the place."

These issues with studio disagreements echo comments the filmmaker shared back in 2015 when he offered first details about his departure.

"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."

Regardless of the quality of the film, it's tough to deny that the final product of IT under the leadership of Andy Muschietti is a relatively conventional film, even if it is an effective experience.

IT: Chapter Two lands in theaters on September 6, 2019.

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[H/T GQ]