Stephen King's 'It' Draws 'Mama' Director
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

New Line’s feature adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” has gained a new director — Andy Muschietti, who directed 2013’s “Mama.”

Muschietti is in talks to replace Cary Fukunaga, who dropped out of the project over the Memorial Day weekend over budget issues. Fukunaga, best known for directing the first season of “True Detective,” came on board the project in 2012.

Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg are producing through their KatzSmith banner while Dan Lin and Roy Lee are also producing. Barbara Muschietti, sister of Andy Muscietti, is also expected to be a producer on the project.

King’s massive 1986 novel — with 1,136 pages in its original publication — was adapted as a TV miniseries in 1991 starring the late John Ritter and Tim Curry. The story follows seven outcast children who come together over summer break to take on a monster troubling their town, only to face their own personal demons in the process.

“It” is a shape-shifting villain who mostly appears in the form of a clown named Pennywise with the aim of attracting young children as prey. The entity first appears in 1957 in Derry, Maine — a fictional town that appears in several of King’s works. King is a native of Portland, Maine.

Will Poulter had been attached to play Pennywise before Fukunaga exited so it’s unclear if he will remain in the role, since Muscietti’s deal has not closed.

“Mama” starred Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and was a surprise success with worldwide grosses of nearly $150 million on a $15 million budget. Muschietti directed from his own script,  based on his 2008 Argentine short film of the same name.

Jon Silk is executive producing “It.” Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter are overseeing  for New Line while Niija Kuykendall is overseeing for Warner Bros.

Muschietti is repped by WME.

The news about Muschietti was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

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