HBO Max announced plans for a prequel series based on their “It” franchise called “Welcome to Derry.” At the time, details on the project were a bit murky. As of February 23rd, more concrete news became available.
The streamer has given a straight-to-series order for a tv show based on Stephen King’s horror novel, “It.” Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti, the team behind “It: Chapter One” and “It: Chapter Two,” are on board for “Welcome to Derry.” They will be teaming up with Jason Fuchs, who they previously worked with on “It: Chapter Two.”
This new project from Warner Bros. Television will have “The Flash” helmer Muschietti in the director’s chair for several episodes, including the pilot. Fuchs will write the first episode, based on a story by the Muschiettis and Fuchs. Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane will serve as co-showrunners for “Welcome to Derry.”
While specific plot details are still under wraps, we do know “Welcome to Derry” may just be a working title. There is also no indication as to weather Bill Skarsgård will reprise his role as the demonic clown Pennywise for the small screen.
King’s novel tells the story of a group of friends battling a shape-shifting monster, Pennywise, who often appears as an evil clown. The narrative’s timeline is split between the protagonists as kids when they first encounter the monster. Then later as middle-aged adults who have to return to the town of Derry to face their fears and try to kill him once and for all.
“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,” Stephen King said. “Red balloons all around!” That sure sounds like a ringing endorsement to us! Considering King has been very vocal about his dislike of previous adaptations of his work. [Case in point, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of “The Shinning.”]
Since Pennywise’s reign of terror works in 27-year cycles, this would mean we are likely following the group he terrorized before the 1989 Losers Club from the recent films. According to “It” lore, this is the group Pennywise won against. All we are sure of plot-wise is it will expand the “It” universe.
“We are thrilled to continue this iconic franchise with the brilliant Andy and Barbara Muschietti, Jason Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, said. “This prequel will expand the It storytelling canvas and bring fans deeper into the terrifying, mesmerizing town of Derry.”
The officially confirmed crew also seems hyped to return to Derry, Maine. “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.”
“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 will keep you posted on news about HBO Max’s “Welcome to Derry” as it becomes available.