Stephen King supersite Lilja's Library recently sat down with screenwriter David Kajganich to discuss the upcoming remakes of Pet Sematary and It. There's good news and bad news here, folks.
First, the bad news. Kajganich is no longer attached to the Pet Sematary project. The writer states that he thinks the book is one of King's best and that he was excited to be involved with retelling the tale, but the studio has decided they'd like to "revamp" the story. These changes involve making the daughter character the focal point of the story and appealing to a younger audience. Kajganich didn't like these changes and was allowed to leave the project. Pet Sematary is back on the development track at Paramount (with Matt Greenberg handling the writing duties), but Kajganich has no idea how the film is progressing.
Jump past the break to read what's up with It.
In better -- at least somewhat -- news, he's still very much involved with the plan to make a big screen version of King's mammoth novel It. Weighing in at nearly 1,200 pages, trying to cram this story into one feature length film presents a huge challenge, but Kajganich is giving it his all. "I'm finding as many ways as I can to make certain scenes redundant by deepening and doubling others. To me, this is an interesting process because it has the effect of thematically intensifying the whole, but it can lead to dramatic surprises. Certain scenes I thought would be crucial to the coherence of the whole ended up cut, while other scenes, which were somewhat cursory in the book, ended up being pivotal in the script. "
He goes on to add that Pennywise in this version will be a little different than the Tim Curry portrayal in the original. "Generally speaking, though, I think the Pennywise in this adaptation is a less self-conscious of his own irony and surreality than was Tim Curry's Pennywise. I think it will be harder to laugh at his antics since, under the permissiveness of an R rating, I was able to give him back a lot of his more upsetting moments from the novel, ones that could never be aired on network television."
That's encouraging news. I love Curry's Pennywise, but as anyone who read the book will tell you, it's not quite as malevolent as the character in the novel. Kajganich talks more about both projects in the interview -- which you can read here -- but he doesn't address what he plans to do with the novel's odd ending segment. I'm wondering if he can make that work even with an R rating...