Director Cary Fukunaga Explains Why He Walked Away From It


True Detective and Beasts of No Nation helmsman Cary Fukunaga has a reputation for being tough to work with, having abruptly departed from both the period drama The Alienist and last year’s horror pic It. But if you ask the man himself, he’s a more flexible filmmaker than either popular opinion would suggest or his former bosses at Warner Bros. seem to think.

Speaking to GQ, the Emmy Award-winning director explained his decision to leave It just two weeks before shooting was due to begin, recalling how the studio started treating him like he might go too far in his personal vision for the project.

“I think it was fear on their part, that they couldn’t control me.”

When asked if this was a genuine risk, Fukunaga insisted that he was perfectly willing to cooperate on creative issues.

“No, 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, Fuck you guys. No way. It’s always been a conversation.”

Nonetheless, Warner’s efforts to keep Fukunaga in line proved too much for the filmmaker, who was eventually replaced by Andy Muschietti of Mama fame. Though it’s tempting to wonder how It would’ve turned out if Fukunaga had stayed to the end, it’s doubtful that the studio feels too broken up these days about his exit from the project, with Muschietti’s version ending its run in cinemas as the highest-grossing horror movie of all time.

This brings us on to the eagerly awaited It: Chapter Two. With Jessica Chastain recently reporting that she’s wrapped production on the Losers’ Club’s second outing, Muschietti’s sequel seems on course for release on September 6th, 2019. As for Fukunaga, his TV miniseries Maniac, starring Emma Stone, is set to premiere on Netflix on September 21st, 2018.