A studio losing the rights to a major licensed or optioned property is commonplace in Tinsletown, but it is rare to see corporate synergy cause a title to change studios. However, that is exactly what happened when a theatrical remake of Stephen King’s It was moved today from Warner Bros. to New Line Cinema.
As first detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, New Line is preparing its June move to the WB lot by drawing a clearer distinction with the larger studio. New Line, which was folded into WB by Time Warner in 2008, appears to be branding its image as a distinct label apart from the larger studio. Hence, the transition of It to New Line.
While near the end of its independence as a studio, Bob Shaye’s New Line transcended into prestige with the Oscar and box office record breaking Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the New Line brand was originally built on some of the most iconic (and delirious) horror movies of the 1980s. Affectionately known as “The House that Freddy Built,” New Line released an impressive seven Nightmare on Elm Street movies (if you count Wes Craven’s New Nightmare as part of the series) in only 10 years. New Line is also where the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy had its first back flip.
The last movement on a theatrical version of Stephen King’s It came when Cary Fukunaga was first attached to direct the film in 2012. The project seemingly has since stalled, but given Fukunaga’s success as the sole director on HBO’s gangbusters True Detective, he more than likely could get It made now, if he so chose. Currently, he is working on Beasts of No Nation.
Stephen King’s It was also the name of the incredibly popular miniseries from 1990 on ABC, which starred John Ritter, Annette O’Toole, and Tim Curry as Pennywise.