Unlike a lot of dual-movie ideas produced by Hollywood, this one makes sense. The source material is just too dense to adequately convey in a single film. They struggled to do it proper justice in a two part mini-series. Hopefully, that will not be a concern here as Warner Bros. have also hired some very talented men to bring it to the big screen.
Cary Fukunaga, super talented director of Sin Nombre and the Michael Fassbender-starring adaptation of Jane Eyre, will direct the ambitious horror project. Fukunaga will co-write the duology with Chase Palmer, no stranger to ambitious adaptations himself, after his last (aborted) attempt at adapting Frank Herbert’s Dune for Paramount.
Fukunaga is an unlikely choice for this project and that may be what makes him such a great one, he has a skill and focus that could be perfectly implemented for the horror genre and guarantees they are taking the heart of the story seriously. Sin Nombre was an uncompromising but honest insight into childhood and Jane Eyre was choking on atmosphere; two elements that would be essential to a good adaptation of IT.
For the record, I do not think the TV mini-series is particularly good. Outside of Tim Curry's marvelous turn as Pennywise the Clown, the mini-series largely fails as an adaptation and has aged with about as much grace as one of Pennywise's child victims. While the flashback scenes are decent enough, they are missing the edge that King brought to the novel, and the scares are non-existent.
Splitting this epic sized novel into two parts would allow Fukunaga and Palmer to really spend some time with these characters, both as children and adults, and a harder rating means they can really dig into the horror. There is a lot of terrifying, disturbing imagery in the novel that the TV series just could not get away with.
The novel took place in the 1950s and 1980s, if the movie were to update things then we could see the flashbacks take place in the 1980s. That would be fun and it would still manage to stoke that sense of nostalgia in the audience, even those who weren't alive in the '80s (I most certainly wasn't alive in the '50s but those flashbacks made me nostalgic).
More on the '50s/'80s changeover: One scene from the novel that always grabbed me was when a child was murdered by Pennywise taking the form of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and I always wanted to see that on the big screen. However, Gill-Man is a Universal property and has no cultural relevance in the '80s. Now, which horror icon was very much relevant in the 1980s AND happens to be owned by Warner Bros? Jason "Mother Lovin'" Voorhees, that's who! My dream may have changed but it lives on. If that scene makes it into the movie, it's an automatic 5 star rating.