Andy Muschietti, the director behind the surprise horror hit Mama, is in negotiations to direct It, New Line’s adaptation of the Stephen King classic.
Cary Fukunaga was on board to direct the two-part adaptation and helped develop the project for years before parting ways over vision and budget over Memorial Day Weekend.
But the project is a priority for New Line and producers Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg, who hit the trail for a filmmaker without missing a beat.
It was to have started shooting in late June and a new start date remains unclear. Upon closing of Muschietti’s deal, New Line will begin a search for a new writer to tailor a script to Muschietti’s vision. The plan is for the adaptation to still take place over two parts.
Also unclear at this stage is the involvement of Will Poulter, the actor who was to play an evil entity who commonly takes the form of a clown named Pennywise and torments children in a small Maine town. The actor is no longer officially attached but could possibly return depending on scheduling and other factors.
Muschietti’s sister and writing partner Barbara Muschietti likely will come aboard the project as a producer.
Muschietti made his feature directorial debut with Mama, the 2013 horror movie that he also co-wrote and that starred Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The picture scared up $71 million domestically on a budget of only $15 million.
The filmmaker, who is repped by WME, has several projects in development and was at one point attached to direct Universal’s remake of The Mummy.
Jon Silk is executive producing It. Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter are overseeing the project for New Line while Niija Kuykendall is shepherding for Warner Bros.