Vulture managed to score a chat with producer Dan Lin (The LEGO Movie) wherein he confirms what all Stephen King fans have been hoping, i.e. that a big budget feature film based on the author’s 1986 novel IT will begin production next year with Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective”) at the helm.
“The idea is to start official prep in March for a summer shoot,” said Lin. “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.”
As previously announced, the 1100-page tome is so epic that the plan is to adapt it into two movies, the first one in which an entity stalks seven children in Derry, Maine in the guise of a clown. The second feature would focus on the children as adults returning to Derry in order to rid the world of the creature once and for all, but Lin surprisingly states that Fukunaga is only signed on to direct the first part, and may only co-write the second. No stranger to lengthy storytelling (“True Detective” plays out like one eight-hour-long movie), one would think that for the sake of consistency New Line Cinema would sign Fukunaga to both films, but perhaps other projects have grabbed the filmmaker’s attention since becoming a hot commodity.
“The book is so epic that we couldn’t tell it all in one movie and service the characters with enough depth,” explained Lin. There’s also no mention on if the late-1950s and mid-1980s time periods will remain intact or be shifted to a more modern approach with the kids growing up in the ’80s and returning to present-day Maine. We do know that King has given the project his seal of approval.
“The most important thing is that Stephen King gave us his blessing,” said Lin. “We didn’t want to make this unless he felt it was the right way to go, and when we sent him the script, the response that Cary got back was, ‘Go with God, please! This is the version the studio should make.’ So that was really gratifying.”
Fukunaga wrote the screenplay for Stephen King’s IT with Chase Palmer and David Kajganich, with Lin, David Katzenberg, Doug Davison and Seth Grahame-Smith serving as producers. The book was previously adapted by Tommy Lee Wallace as a two-part, three-hour event miniseries on ABC in 1990 starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the clown.
The next movie from Fukunaga will be the African child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, which will see release sometime in 2015.