Well, that sure didn’t take long. In March of this year, we first learned that a series that would serve as a prequel to It, the blockbuster horror film based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, titled Welcome to Derry, was in the works for HBO Max. Now, writer Shelley Meals (Shadow and Bone) has confirmed that the show is indeed well underway as the writers’ room has opened up.
It went on to gross more than $700 million at the global box office, ranking as one of Hollywood’s biggest financial surprises of the decade. Adaptation of King’s 1986 novel now ranks as the highest-grossing horror movie ever. Its sequel, 2019’s It: Chapter Two, was also massively successful, taking in $469 million. Given Pennywise has a long history in the town of Derry, Maine, that is only sort of explored in the films, there is potentially a lot of story to mine.
Andy Muschietti, who directed both films, is on board to produce the series, along with Barbara Muschietti.
The series is reportedly taking place in the 1960s before The Losers Club formed their alliance. It will delve into the origins of the demonic Pennywise. And since the monster reappears every 27 years, the series might explore how Pennywise’s violence remained unstoppable for centuries. From the pages of King’s 1986 novel through Muschietti’s 2017 and 2019 reboots, the author’s novel has been a horror staple.
The films follow residents of the town of Derry, which is haunted by Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The first film follows the so-called Losers Club as children in the 1960s while the second film picks back up with them as adults returning to their hometown after Pennywise resurfaces. The most recent film adaptation starred Bill Skarsgård as the murderous clown.
Warner’s previous projects provided insights into Pennywise’s 36-year-old backstory, cementing the creature’s catastrophic grip on Derry for centuries. Pennywise’s origins were never fully filled out, aside from the Losers Club recognizing his role in several defining moments. The brand new HBO Max prequel show intends to change that. Warner’s previous projects provided insights into Pennywise’s 36-year-old backstory, cementing the creature’s catastrophic grip on Derry for centuries. Pennywise’s origins were never fully filled out, aside from the Losers Club recognizing his role in several defining moments. The brand new HBO Max prequel show intends to change that.
Welcome to Derry: The Cast
The original 1990 “It” miniseries starred Richard Thomas (Bill Denbrough), Annette O’Toole (Beverly Marsh), John Ritter (Ben Hanscom), Harry Anderson (Richie Tozier), Dennis Christopher (Eddie Kaspbrak), Tim Reid (Mike Hanlon), and Richard Masur (Stanley Uris) as the main members of the Losers Club and Tim Curry as Pennywise.
In 2017’s “It: Chapter One,” the cast included Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom), Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh), Finn Wolfhard (Richie Tozier), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak), Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon), Wyatt Oleff (Stanley Uris), and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. The sequel, “It: Chapter Two” (2019) saw Jessica Chastain (Beverly Marsh), James McAvoy (William Denbrough), Bill Hader (Richie Tozier), Isaiah Mustafa (Mike Hanlon), Jay Ryan (Ben Hanscom), James Ransone (Eddie Kaspbrak), and Andy Bean (Stanley Uris) step in as older versions of the small-town crew.
No official cast members have been announced for the “It” prequel series, but we wouldn’t mind seeing the reboot cast return for a full series — or even a cameo from the original author himself.
Release Date of Welcome to Derry
It is still unknown when the series will begin filming, but if it begins production this year, it might premiere in 2023, just in time for next year’s Halloween season.