Stephen King's IT Is Getting A TV Prequel

Pennywise leaps from a screen in IT
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

When Andy Muschietti's IT was released in 2017, it was a spectacular hit. The film is now considered the biggest horror film of all time, having earned over $300 million domestically and $700 million worldwide. The sequel, IT Chapter Two, didn't do too shabby either, earning $473.1 million before it was done playing on the big screen around the world. This in mind, it's not exactly surprising that Hollywood executives would want to keep the franchise going – which is why a prequel series is now in development. 

The scoop on this story comes from The Ankler, which says that the potential show is in the works with the title Welcome To Derry and that it is being planned as an original for HBO Max. Further adding to the report, Variety says that the setting will start in the 1960s and "lead up to" the events of IT (which is set in 1989). Furthermore, there will be exploration into the origins of the titular villain who is best known for disguising itself as Pennywise The Dancing Clown.

Andy Muschietti is on board as a producer along with his producing partner/sister Barbara Muschietti, and they have developed the story for the series with fellow producer/writer Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) – who is also a producer and is penning the script. 

What's interesting about this development is that it's the second time that Warner Bros. has attempted to develop a Stephen King prequel series as an HBO Max original series. It was announced in April 2020, following the theatrical release of Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep, that a show called Overlook was in the works, the plan being narratively speaking to explore the history of the Overlook Hotel prior to the events that take place in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Sadly, about a year and a half later it was announced that HBO Max was no longer developing Overlook, and Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot (J.J. Abrams' production company) have been trying to find a new home for it since then.

We'll have to wait and see if Welcome To Derry ultimately has some better luck. The titular town certainly has a long and horrible history that could make great fodder for serial torytelling – like the fire at the Black Spot and the explosion of the Kitchener Ironworks – but how that material gets treated will be key. One thing that would most definitely get people extra excited for the show would be getting Bill Skarsgård to return to the role of Pennywise, as his performance is arguably the best thing about both of Andy Muschietti's IT movies.

Stay tuned for more updates about Welcome To Derry here on CinemaBlend. While you wait, see where IT sits in our ranking of the best Stephen King movies, and check out our Upcoming Stephen King guide to learn about all of the film and television projects based on the author's works that are in development.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.