Director Cary Fukunaga Leaves Stephen King’s Adaptation ‘It’

26 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘It’ Movies Lose Director Cary Fukunaga.

New Line Cinema has indefinitely pushed back production on its adaptation of Stephen King’s It, a studio insider tells EW, and director Cary Fukunaga has left the project, according to his reps.

Sources told the industry news site that Fukunaga clashed with the studio over the film’s budget, particularly his desire to shoot in New York City rather than a cheaper locale. “We’re the Millers” actor Will Poulter had reportedly been close to signing on as the demonic clown, Pennywise, that terrorizes a small town in Maine. The Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre director actually signed on to this project way back in 2012 (before he made an even bigger name for himself with HBO’s True Detective) and co-wrote the script with Chase Palmer. Years later, the creature returns, and the members of the club — now adults — have to band together again even though they have no memory of the first battle. Fukunaga and Chase Palmer penned two scripts to cover King’s story over as many movies—one tracing the protagonists as kids, the other as adults—but the plan for making the work into two parts or one is still up in the air.

Insiders say that New Line had greenlit the movie at $30 million (the second part would have had a larger budget) and that Fukunaga’s drafts were coming in at a higher number. Fukunaga won’t be idle: he’s wrapping up post-production on the African war drama, “Beasts of No Nation” and has reportedly been circling a TV mini-series adaptation of the Caleb Carr novel “The Alienist.” Divided up like King’s 1986 horror novel, the first of the two It films would detail the main characters run in with Pennywise as children; the second film would have those same characters returning to Derry, Maine to confront the clown as adults. The younger skewing casting of Poulter was very much in line with Fukunaga’s vision for It which promised a faithful adaptation that would nonetheless distinguish itself visually and stylistically from the famous 1990 TV version starring Tim Curry.

According to the Wrap, after It shifted from Warner Bros. to New Line, the production company demanded additional budget cuts, including moving the shoot out of New York to somewhere less expensive. Will Poulter (We’re the Millers) was in negotiations to play the creature, who took the form of a clown, but it is unclear if he will remain connected to the project. The parting does illustrate the pitfalls of a director who made a strong mark in the indie (and TV) world to work inside a system that can seem more constrained. New Line’s weak opening weekend for their Poltergeist reboot – which similarly featured a terrifying clown – as well as Poulter’s relative obscurity in Hollywood also contributed to apprehension over the project. The film tells the true story of Joe Bell and his son Jaden, the latter a 15-year-old openly gay Oregon high school student who committed suicide after being bullied because of his sexuality.

The project could still go ahead with another director taking Fukunaga’s place or—as was recently the case with director David Lynch who walked away from Twin Peaks for similar budgetary reasons—the studio could decide to meet Fukunaga’s demands. A devastated Joe Bell then embarked on a cross-country walking tour to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice, but that journey too ends tragically. The author’s The Dark Tower series has gestated in Hollywood for years before Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital revived the project in April for a planned film and television series. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. This is all just further proof that King’s lengthier novels—while certainly iconic—are beasts to adapt and maybe 90s trend of TV mini-series was the way to go.

A week after signing off on a new round of offshore drilling off the coast of Alaska, President Obama on Wednesday delivered his most direct and dire warning yet about the threats we face from climate change. After the 2008 election, Obama tried to push climate legislation with arguments about green jobs and the moral imperative of taking care of the planet for future generations.

But in the second term, thanks in part to impact of Hurricane Sandy and increasing extreme weather, Obama retooled his message and began talking about how climate change will affect food prices, the spread of infectious diseases and the public health implications of burning fossil fuels. When I began reporting my story on military and climate change late last year, it was clear to me that there are not a lot of climate skeptics in the military high command.

But Pentagon officials are reluctant to talk openly about this, in part because they don’t like to engage in heated political issues, but mostly because they fear climate deniers in Congress will slash their budgets if they tell the truth too bluntly. Obama’s latest speech also underscores the fact that he sees climate as a central part of his legacy, and one that he will push hard in what remains of his presidency. The petite New York native with the gigantic voice tore through a cover of the Young Rascals’ “You Better Run,” sticking her index finger in the face of some imaginary foe, and pointing toward a future in which women would grab rock & roll by the wallet. Only the second-ever video played on MTV, it followed the Buggles’ synth-heavy “Video Killed the Radio Star” on the channel and helped turn the classically trained Benatar into a rock superstar with dozens of chart hits, a Number One album and a seemingly endless concert tour that continues to this day. Her initial chart hit, the blistering “Heartbreaker,” reached Number 23 and helped her debut LP, In the Heat of the Night, reach million-seller status.

Spyder says this all the time, that when you write songs, the best way to write them is just piano and vocal or guitar and vocal, because it really gets it down to the essence of the song. They’re great girls, I love them, but we were hanging out and they’re talking about, “I was using this mic, I was using this. . .” and I was [mimics falling asleep]. Sometimes she’ll say, “Papa, you got any ideas for any songs?” I’ll give her one line and then wait about 10 minutes and she’ll say, “I think I’ve got something!” Benatar: “Hell Is for Children” came from an article in the New York Times, an exposé on child abuse. Giraldo: I’ll tell you one right away: “Somebody’s Baby” [from the 1993 album, Gravity’s Rainbow.] I thought we hit something really brilliant on that.

Because our record company then was so smart, they said, “We can’t get it out of our heads from the Jackson Browne song [released 12 years earlier].” What followed was this new marketing plan: “We’re going to do nothing.” Oh, that’s a great idea! They’d expect us to say, “Oh, fuck off.” They’d go, “Wow, they’re too nice.” After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth.

While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the “disorderly conduct” of the urban poor. Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing: Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. There are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn. While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war.

Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage. Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners.

To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is “less.” Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails. From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas to even some U.S. cities like Philadelphia’s experiment with community courts, spaces are created where accountability is understood as a community issue and the entire community, along with the so-called perpetrator and the victim of a given offense, try to restore and even transform everyone in the process. Communities that have tools to engage with each other about problems and disputes don’t have to consider what to do after anti-social behaviors are exhibited in the first place. In Mexico, where one of the world’s most corrupt police forces only has credibility as a criminal syndicate, there have been armed groups of Policia Comunitaria and Autodefensas organized by local residents for self-defense from narcotraffickers, femicide and police.

Obviously these could become police themselves and then be subject to the same abuses, but as a temporary solution they have been making a real impact. We have created a tremendous amount of mental illness, and in the real debt and austerity dystopia we’re living in, we have refused to treat each other for our physical and mental wounds. Mental health has often been a trapdoor for other forms of institutionalized social control as bad as any prison, but shifting toward preventative, supportive and independent living care can help keep those most impacted from ending up in handcuffs or dead on the street.

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