At one point or another, we've all said that a two-film adaptation of Stephen King's IT directed by Cary Fukunaga was too good to be true. And whatta ya know, turns out that it was: over the holiday weekend, Fukunaga removed himself from the project, just three weeks before filming was set to begin in New York.
What happened? Well, as of this writing, neither New Line or Fukunaga have made an official statement regarding the split, but sources who spoke with The Wrap indicate that the relationship fell apart for the usual reason: money. According to them, New Line greenlit the first film at $30m, but recently implemented a number of budget cuts that left Fukunaga feeling like he'd be unable to deliver on his vision for the material. Apparently, there was also a disagreement over where the film would shoot: Fukunaga wanted New York, New Line wanted someplace cheaper.
Shortly after the news broke, Stephen King weighed in on the situation via Twitter:
There's still a chance that New Line will hire up another director to take on the project (one name being floated on Twitter that I'd approve of: The Babadook's Jennifer Kent), but even if they do it's likely they'll have to start over from scratch, seeing as how Fukunaga was also scripting both films.
What a massive disappointment this is. Feel free to commiserate with me in the comments below.