Pennywise is coming back and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. After about a year of speculation, HBO Max has just officially ordered to series Welcome to Derry, the working title for a prequel show set in the world of Stephen King’s It.
Co-showrunner Jason Fuchs will write the first episode and Andy Muschietti (It, The Flash) will direct it. He’ll direct other episodes too and produce along with Barbara Muschietti and Fuchs. Brad Caleb Kane is the other showrunner. “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 in a press release.
King himself added, “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!”
In the original book, King establishes that Pennywise first appeared in Derry, Maine centuries ago, after crash-landing on Earth way earlier than that in a meteor from some other dimension. Since then, every 27 years or so, it awakes and feeds on the children of the area. The book is told in two main sections with the same characters at different ages: 1957-58 and 1984-85.
However, since this show is set in the same canon as the film series, which begins in 1988 and then jumps to 2016, one would guess this might take place in 1961. Did others kids investigate Pennywise at the time in 1961? Are the adults who had been stalked as kids in 1934 now aware of this? And if either of those are true, how is what happened different from the events of the It movies? Plus, how does an origin set centuries before any of that tie in? Lots of fun questions to be answered in the months ahead.
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“As teenagers, we took turns reading chapters of Stephen King’s It until the thick paperback fell to pieces,” the Muschiettis said in the joint 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.”
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