According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fukunaga and studio New Line could not agree on the film's budget, a dispute that "stem[med] from a difference in creative visions." Per THR:
THR went on to say that Fukunaga and New Line reportedly had a rocky relationship from the start, with the strong-willed director clashing with the studio over casting decisions, among other disagreements.
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. Even with the start of principal photography approaching, the script was still being reworked.
Execs, producers and the director realized they were at an impasse and would not make their start date. Fukunaga decided to leave the project, which has now been pushed indefinitely.
Still, Fukunaga's departure is surprising primarily because filming was slated to start so soon -- in three weeks. Actor Will Poulter was also recently revealed as the production's choice to play evil clown Pennywise, a splashy and surprising casting that's now in question, since the film is currently in flux.
Even King himself wasn't entirely sure the production could recover, writing on Facebook that the flick "may be dead." The author assured fans, however, that they would "always have Tim Curry," whose iconic turn as Pennywise in the 1990 "It" miniseries still terrorizes fans today.
Here's hoping "It" fans will find solace in its creator's words (and the film can somehow get back on track).
[via: The Hollywood Reporter, Stephen King]
Photo credit: Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival