Welcome To Derry: What We Know About The Upcoming IT Prequel Show

Pennywise in IT Chapter Two
(Image credit: Warner Bros,)

Get ready, because this is what we know so far about IT: Welcome to Derry. 

Stephen King has had amazing adaptations come out from his novels, from The Shining starring Jack Nicholson to Misery and many, many others, but the most recent adaptations of It, both the 2017 film It and It: Chapter Two, are arguably some of the best. While I will always have a special place in my heart for Tim Curry’s version of Pennywise the Dancing Clown, I think Bill Skarsgard takes the cake for who is the absolute scariest. 

The two films ended up being a big hit, and now, years later, we are finally getting more story from the world of Derry, the fictional New England town that serves as the setting for numerous Stephen King stories, including IT. 

What Is The IT: Welcome To Derry Premiere Date?

Pennywise in IT: Chapter One

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

At the time of updating this in March 2024, IT: Welcome to Derry is set to release at some point in 2025, according to Deadline in November 2023. Originally, it was scheduled to release during Halloween 2024, but was pushed to 2025 due to the 2023 Writer’s Strike.  

So we won’t be seeing Welcome to Derry on any 2024 TV schedule, unfortunately, but it’s still in the works. 

Taylour Paige, Joven Adepo And More Have Signed On For The Show

Taylour Paige putting on lipstick in Zola

(Image credit: A24)

Get ready, lovers of horror, because we have an idea of who is going to be in the upcoming Welcome to Derry series. Here is who we know so far is appearing in the series:

Taylour Paige

According to Deadline, several actors were initially cast in the horror prequel, including Taylour Paige, Jovan Adepo, James Remar and Chris Chalk. 

First up is Taylour Paige. The actress has appeared in projects like White Boy Rick, Hit the Floor, Zola and more, and will also have a primary role in the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F alongside Eddie Murphy

Jovan Adepo

Joven Adepo has appeared in several films, including Babylon in 2022, Mother! In 2017, and His Three Daughters in 2023. He was also a part of the famous HBO series, The Leftovers

James Remar

James Remar is a well-known actor who has appeared in several films over his long career. Some of his most-known include the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street, The Warriors, 48 Hrs, The Cotton Club and more. He also held a prominent role in Sex and the City and played Dexter’s father in one of the best Showtime series’, Dexter.

Chris Chalk

Chris Chalk was also confirmed to appear in Welcome to Derry. He’s appeared in films like 12 Years A Slave, Godzilla vs. Kong and more. He also held a main role in Gotham, and appeared in the acclaimed miniseries When They See Us.

From these four actors, we’re not sure who they are going to play in the upcoming series, but they are for sure confirmed for the Welcome to Derry cast.

Madeleine Stowe

Also announced from Deadline in April 2023 was that Madeleine Stowe had signed on for the show. The actress has appeared in many movies like 12 Monkeys, We Were Soldiers, and more, and also starred in the series Revenge. 

Stephen Rider

That Deadline article from April 2023 also confirmed Stephen Rider joining the cast of Welcome to Derry. He’s primarily known for his role in Daredevil as Blake Tower, but has appeared in such films like The After Party, The Butler, The Dog Lover and more. 

Chad Rook

Confirmed from Rook’s Instagram Bio, Chad Rook will appear in some way in Welcome to Derry. The actor has appeared in shows like Joe Pickett, Billy the Kid, Virgin River and more. 

We might want to speculate about members from the cast of IT appearing in this new series, but apart from knowing it's planned to be a prequel to It, we don't have enough information to guess much about who might make sense to appear just yet. Maybe we’ll hear more about that possibility as the series draws closer. For now, I’m perfectly okay with this new cast.  

As of January 2023, Bill Skarsgard Is Not Involved With The Show

Pennywise leaps from the screen in IT

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Obviously seeing Bill Skarsgard back as Pennywise would be legendary, but HBO's announcement did not mention Skarsgard, nor did they confirm plans to feature Pennywise in this series. And now, it’s been confirmed that Bill Skarsgard is not actively involved with the upcoming series. 

In an interview that the actor did with Jake’s Takes in March 2023, Skarsgard confirmed that he is not involved with the series at this time, but he gave some advice to the next person who might end up becoming Pennywise if he doesn’t get to work on it. 

As of now, I'm not currently involved with it. If someone else gets to do it, my advice would be: Do it your own. Make it your own. Have fun with it. What I found pleasurable about that character is how abstract he was.

As of March 2024, there is still no update on whether he will appear in the series, so the chances are quite slim. 

Skarsgard has been quite busy. While he certainly made headlines for his role as Pennywise in the IT films, he’s been in a variety of other movies and roles such as 2022’s hit horror feature, Barbarian. Skarsgard was also in John Wick: Chapter 4 in 2023 and is going to be in the upcoming Nosferatu and The Crow, 

It makes me wonder who exactly will play Pennywise – if he even appears at all, at this point. It would be pretty shocking not to see him, though. 

The Story Will Be Set In The World Of Stephen King's It, Possibly In The 1960s

Losers Club in IT

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

As mentioned before, Welcome to Derry is going to be a prequel to the story of IT, written by Stephen King. From the announcement regarding the order to series, the show is set in the world of Stephen King's IT, and it expands the universe of Derry that fans got the chance to see in both IT and IT: Chapter 2.

Why Stephen King Loves The New IT Movie

The IT cast

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Check out why Stephen King loved the IT movie in 2017.

Back in March 2022, nearly a year before the series was officially announced by HBO, Variety reported that the planned series would take place in the 1960s and the events leading up to the recent feature adaptations. The site also reported that we'd learn more about Pennywise's origin story. HBO's February 2023 announcement does not mention a specific time period or Pennywise's potential involvement in the series, so it's unclear if this information still applies to what's in the works. 

At the very least, we know the story will be centered around the town of Derry, and from the sound of it, Stephen King, is certainly excited to see the story expand, as he said in the announcement for the series order. 

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. Red balloons all around!

We’ll get into Andy and his and Barbara’s role soon, but I have to say, it is quite nice to see that the author has given his own stamp of approval on the prequel. It makes me excited to see what they have planned. 

Welcome To Derry Will Feature “Demented Scares”

Richie (Bill Hader) accuses a kid of being Pennywise in IT Chapter Two

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

While I’m sure we’re not expecting some magical ride while watching a show that is based in a Stephen King town, we can all take a deep breath in knowing that Welcome to Derry will not be skimping on the scares. 

In an interview with Variety in November 2022, Sarah Aubrey, the head of originals at Max, teased that Welcome to Derry will have demented scares, and that the people working on the show knew exactly what they were doing when it came to bringing this series to life:

We have been working with Jason Fuchs, Brad Caleb Kane, Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti very closely…They’re so deep into this mythology and they have such a firm handle on the storytelling around these characters and also the demented scares that they’re putting into things. Sometimes I’m, like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ Just all the wild ways they think up to terrify us. You’ll be hearing more concretely about that development very soon… Andy is very involved in every bit of this, so that is the real recipe for success and for delighting fans.

I’m so excited to see where this goes – and ready to have my pants scared off. 

Andy Muschietti Is Returning To Direct Multiple Episodes, And Executive Produce

Beverly (Jessica Chastain), Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) and Ben (Jay Ryan) in IT Chapter Two

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Also announced with the series order was that Andy Muschietti, who directed both IT films, is returning to the IT franchise with this series. Both him and his sister, Barbara (alongside Jason Fuchs, which we’ll talk about in a bit) developed the show, and now he is going to be working as an executive producer alongside his sister, Fuchs, and Brad Caleb Kane. 

Muschietti is also set to direct several episodes in the series, including the premiere episode. The director spoke with his sister about how eager they were to continue the story, and share everything that they loved about it as kids.

As teenagers, we took turns reading chapters of Stephen King’s ‘IT’ until the thick paperback fell to pieces. ‘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.

Muschietti has done plenty in Hollywood and is doing so much in the future, including directing the The Flash movie in 2023 as well as a live-action version of the famous anime, Attack on Titan, so it’s cool to see him return back to the world of horror with this series alongside his sister. 

Jason Fuchs Wrote The First Episode And Also Acts As Co-Showrunner

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in It

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Writing a story that takes place in the wonderful world of Derry can be difficult, but Jason Fuchs is up to the challenge. In the press release, it was confirmed that Fuchs would not only write the teleplay for the first episode, but act as a co-showrunner alongside Brad Caleb Kane

Fuchs spoke about the upcoming show and how it was the “opportunity of a lifetime” to return back to the world of the IT films, which he had worked as an executive producer on. 

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.

It’s so awesome to hear someone have so much faith in their hearts for this upcoming adaptation, and for one can’t wait to see what he writes. Hopefully, it’ll be just as good as some of the best horror films of all time. 

Filming Is Ongoing

Pennywise in IT

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

IT: Welcome to Derry actually already began production. In an Instagram post that he put up on May 8, 2023, Andy Muschietti confirmed that the show had started filming, simply captioning it, “Welcome to Derry” with a picture of Clint Bowers, the apparent chief of police. 

Filming was halted in 2023 due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. It was reported by Yahoo in December 2023 that filming for the series would continue in January 2024, to keep up with the 2025 release date. However, The Hollywood Buzz reported that the series began filming again in Ontario in February 2024.

What are you the most excited for when it comes to Welcome to Derry? I’m so excited to see what these creative minds have to offer and my horror heart is chewing to get more details. Only time will tell.  

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.