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'Welcome To Derry,' The Prequel To 'It,' Gets The Green Light From HBO Max

By Brian Richards | TV | February 24, 2023 |

By Brian Richards | TV | February 24, 2023 |


For those of you who watched and enjoyed It: Chapter One and It: Chapter Two, and who really wanted to f-ck Pennywise the Dancing Clown after watching both films, here’s some news that may bring you some joy. (FYI: Yes, there are people out there who would like to f-ck Pennywise, just like there are people who would like to get their back blown out by Venom. If this bothers you, but you’re someone who would still hook up with The Beast before he turned back into a basic-looking prince once the spell was lifted? Put the stone down in your glass house.)

HBO Max has given the green light to Welcome to Derry, a prequel to the films based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel, It. Andy Muschietti, who directed both chapters of It (and who also directed the upcoming film The Flash), will direct the pilot, as well as several episodes. Producer Barbara Muschietti will also be involved, as well as writer/actor Jason Fuchs, who co-wrote the original story for Wonder Woman, and who had a brief role in It: Chapter Two as the manager of Richie Tozier (Bill Hader).

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Creative details are scarce, except that the series will be a prequel to New Line’s It films, promising to “expand the vision” of the movies. Fuchs will write the first episode, which is based on a story by the Muschiettis and Fuchs. Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane will serve as co-showrunners on the project.

“As teenagers, we took turns reading chapters of Stephen King’s It until the thick paperback fell to pieces,” the Muschiettis said in a statement. “It is an epic story that contains multitudes, far beyond what we could explore in our It movies. We can’t wait to share the depths of Steve’s novel, in all its heart, humor, humanity and horror.”

“I’m excited that the story of Derry, Maine’s most haunted city, is continuing, and I’m glad Andy Muschietti is going to be overseeing the frightening festivities, along with a brain trust including his talented sister, Barbara,” King said. “Red balloons all around!”

It told the story of a group of friends battling a shape-shifting monster - often appearing as a demonic clown - in a small Maine town. The narrative timeline was split between the protagonists as kids and as middle-aged adults. There’s no word on casting for the series yet, and fans will surely wonder if Bill Skarsgård will return as Pennywise.

“To be able to return to the world of my all-time favorite horror novel and help build upon the singularly brilliant cinematic universe created by Andy and Barbara is more than the opportunity of a lifetime, it’s a dream come true — or, maybe more appropriately, a nightmare,” Fuchs said.

“We are thrilled to continue this iconic franchise with the brilliant Andy and Barbara Muschietti, Jason Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max. “This prequel will expand the It storytelling canvas and bring fans deeper into the terrifying, mesmerizing town of Derry.”

A couple of incredibly valid points were brought up by my colleagues here at Pajiba when this project was first announced:

1) “Isn’t this just Castle Rock again?”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Castle Rock, it was a series that premiered on Hulu in 2018, and aired for two seasons before its cancellation. It took place in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, where many of Stephen King’s stories took place, and featured various characters and locations connected to those who appeared in King’s previous novels. It even featured Annie Wilkes from Misery, but for this series, she was played by Lizzy Caplan.

And though we don’t know much about Welcome to Derry yet, it does seem like it might be treading the same ground as Castle Rock, so…yeah, maybe.

2) “HBO Max gave the green light to this, but they canceled South Side? This is some bullshit!”

I have nothing else to add, because there is not a single lie detected in that statement.

Time will soon tell as to what Welcome to Derry will bring to the table as a story set in Stephen King’s vast and terrifying universe. But as long as this show features a needle-drop that’s just as weird and awkward and delightfully goofy as this one right here from It: Chapter Two, then Welcome to Derry has got my curiosity.