Director Cary Fukunaga has backed away from directing New Line's highly-anticipated adaptation IT. The news comes just a few weeks after actor Will Poulter entered negotiations to play the evil clown Pennywise in the remake, but it isn't known if the director's departure will have any impact on the casting. The project was expected to start production this summer, but those plans have been delayed, putting the project's immediate future in jeopardy.

Cary Fukunaga reportedly clashed often with New Line executives, and the filmmaker didn't want to sacrifice his artistic vision after the studio demanded drastic budget cuts. The project was initially set up at Warner Bros., before moving to New Line Cinema, which was reportedly another reason for the director's departure. The director was also adamant about shooting in New York City, which is much more expensive than other locations, and the studio also reportedly became nervous about the project over the weekend when the Poltergeist remake, which also prominently features a clown in its marketing, did not perform as well as many expected at the box office.

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Insiders claim that the project is currently dead, but it's unclear if New Line will look for another writer to craft a different take. Cary Fukunaga also co-wrote the screenplay with Chase Palmer, so it seems clear that his take on the project has been completely scrapped. The director was planning on making a two-part adaptation of Stephen King's original novel. The first movie was set to follow a group of childhood friends known as The Losers Club, who defeat the evil supernatural entity disguised as a clown named Pennywise. The second movie would be set years later, with the Losers Club as adults, as they are forced to face Pennywise yet again.

Insiders claim that New Line wants to make "one long movie" featuring both the children and their adult counterparts, so it's possible that the studio will now seek a new writer and director to rework the remake, which will be produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Doug Davison, Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg. Are you disappointed that Cary Fukunaga won't be directing the IT remake? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more updates.