All the way back in 2015, a year that just seems so long ago, we reported that True Detective and Beasts Of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga had dropped out of the It remake because of a “disagreement” between him and New Line stemming from how they “just wanted to make different movies.” New Line ended up hiring Andy Muschietti to direct the film and It went on to make a bunch of money, so it seems like things worked out in the studio’s favor, and now Fukunaga has a new take on why he left the project.
According to a new interview with GQ, Fukunaga says he left It two weeks before production started because the studio started to worry that he “might go rogue”—in GQ’s words. “I think it was fear on their part,” he says, “that they couldn’t control me.” He’s not really sure where the studio got that idea, though, because he says he would have been a “total collaborator” with the studio. “I have never seen a note and been like ‘fuck you guys. No way.’ It’s always been a conversation.”
That still doesn’t really tell us what happened, because we don’t know why New Line suddenly decided that Fukunaga was a wild man who couldn’t be controlled, but he seems to be happier working with Netflix’s cold, emotionless algorithms anyway. Fukunaga directed the streaming service’s upcoming limited series Maniac with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and he says Netflix’s notes are less about telling him what to do and more about showing him that it knows exactly when and why viewers will get bored and turn something off. “The algorithm’s argument is gonna win at the end of the day,” he says, “so the questions is do we want to make a creative decision at the risk of losing people.”
Evidently, Netflix’s viewership data does not indicate that Fukunaga will go rogue, which is nice.