Cary Fukunaga Speaks Out About Leaving the ‘It’ Adaptation

“I’m eight weeks away from starting Stephen King’s It,” Cary Fukunaga announced confidently at the Tribeca Film Festival last spring, confirming a start date for a project that he’d been working on for a good three years—since before the first season of True Detective made him the Next Big Thing. He’d spent so long on it, and spoke about it with such certainty and enthusiasm at Tribeca, that his exit from the project one month later (and, thus, a month before shooting was to begin) was a bit of a shock. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, he’s talking for the first time about that departure.

“It’s never easy,” he told EW. “Chase [Palmer] and I had been working on that script for probably three years. There was a lot of our childhood and our experience in it.” So what caused him to split—budgetary and casting concerns, as rumored? Well, he’s pinning it on that old Hollywood standby: creative differences.

“Ultimately, we and New Line have to agree on the kind of movie we want to make, and we just wanted to make different movies,” Fukunaga says. “It’s like a relationship: you can try to make the other person who you want them to be, but it’s impossible really to change. You just have to work.”

It is still being prepped by New Line, with director Andy Muschietti (Mama) stepping in for Fukunaga.