Will Bill Skarsgård Return As Pennywise For HBO Max's Welcome To Derry? The IT Star's Answer Has Me Worried

Pennywise grabbing Bev in IT
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The last few months have delivered a solid amount of good news regarding the upcoming series Welcome To Derry: a prequel to director Andy Muschietti's blockbuster Stephen King adaptations IT and IT Chapter Two. We learned back in November that the series had hired a pair of showrunners, and last month the project got an official series order from HBO Max. It's been exciting to watch Welcome To Derry slowly move through development – but now there is a somewhat distressing update to report, as Bill Skarsgård has gone on the record saying that he's not presently attached to reprise his role as the monstrous shapeshifter Pennywise The Dancing Clown. 

Skarsgård recently did an interview with Jake's Takes, and when the actor was asked about Welcome To Derry, he revealed that there is presently no deal in place that would bring him back as one of Stephen King's most nightmare-inducing creations. Said the actor,

We'll see what they come up with and what they do with it. I'm, as of now, not currently involved in it. And if someone else gets to do it, my advice would just be: do it your own, make it your own, have fun with it, you know what I mean? What I thought was so pleasurable about that character was how incredibly abstract he was.

Based on his wording, it seems that nothing is set in stone just yet and that the door isn't closed in this conversation. Also, it's worth noting that Welcome To Derry may not need to bring Bill Skarsgård back as Pennywise for two reasons: A) the story may be set during a year when the monster is hibernating, and B) it's pretty easy for the filmmakers to explain why the creature would look different given that It's whole deal is its ability to change its form.

All of that being said, it would still be a bummer if Skarsgård didn't reprise the role.

There is a great deal to appreciate about what was done with Stephen King's book in the making of IT and IT Chapter Two, including big scares and terrific casting of the Losers Club, but it's Bill Skarsgård's work as Pennywise that make the movies special – much like how Tim Curry's turn as the character was what made the 1990 miniseries adaptation special. Not only does the actor have a terrifying on-screen presence that would automatically add chills and scares to Welcome To Derry, but him being in the show would solidify the connection between the show and the movies and make the project all the more interesting.

Jason Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane are presently developing Welcome To Derry for HBO Max, and Andy Muschietti is set to direct the pilot and produce the show along with his producing partner/sister, Barbara Muschietti. You can learn more about the project via our Quick Things guide, and you can stay up to date with all of the King adaptations that are presently in the works with our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV feature.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.