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Director Cary Fukunaga explains his high-profile departures from True Detective and It

·3 min read

No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga has opened up about his reason for departing two high profile projects -- True Detective, ahead of its second season, and the horror remake of It.

Fukunaga spoke about exiting the two projects with The Hollywood Reporter, telling the trade magazine he felt his working relationship with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto changed during the course of the first season and left him on the wrong end of the power dynamic.

True Detective, It
True Detective, It

Michele K. Short/HBO; Warner Bros. Pictures Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in 'True Detective'; A still from the film 'It'

"The show was presented to me in the way we pitched it around town — as an independent film made into television," he told THR. "The writer and director are a team. Over the course of the project, Nic kept positioning himself as if he was my boss and I was like, 'But you're not my boss. We're partners. We collaborate.' By the time they got to post-production, people like [former HBO programming president] Michael Lombardo were giving Nic more power. It was disheartening because it didn't feel like the partnership was fair."

Fukunaga won the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Emmy for season 1 of True Detective in 2014.

In the new piece, he explained that he and Pizzolatto had different visions for how the show should be executed.

Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cary Joji Fukunaga

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images Cary Fukunaga

"Nic is a really good writer, but I do think he needs to be edited down. It becomes too much about the writing and not enough about the momentum of the story," he said. "My struggle with him was to take some of these long dialogue scenes and put some air into them. We differed on tone and taste."

Pizzolatto actually addressed the reports of drama between the two men in his own THR cover story back in Aug. 2014.

"Cary and I worked together really smoothly," he said, at the time. "There was never any contention. Of course, you're going to have discussions and difference of opinion, but what matters is that everyone is working without ego toward the best realization of what we have."

As for the director's It exit, Fukunaga shared similar words with THR for its new cover story as he did back when he spoke to EW about it in August 2015, and Variety for a September 2015 piece. His departure, which came after he'd written a script and spent several years attached to the project, really came down to creative differences. (Fukunaga still ended up with a screenwriting credit on It.)

"I was on that for four or five years with Warners and then it got moved to New Line, right before we were about to go into production," he told THR. "I think New Line's view of what they wanted and my view of what I wanted were very different. I wanted to do a drama with horror elements, more like The Shining. I think they wanted to do something more [pure horror] like Annabelle [from the Conjuring films]. That was essentially the disconnect."

Representatives for Pizzolatto and New Line didn't immediately respond to EW's requests for comment.

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