HBO Max is reportedly developing an It prequel series. The project's working title is Welcome to Derry, and it will likely delve into the origins of Pennywise the Clown. The two It movies, which split Stephen King's mammoth novel about the terrorized residents of Derry, Maine, were big hits for Warner Bros., grossing a combined $1.17 billion.
Welcome to Derry will also track the birth of the 27-year curse that haunts Derry, according to The Ankler, which first reported on the project. It is not known if anyone involved with the It movies will be starring in the show, but the outlet reports that Welcome to Derry was greenlit. A writer's room is also being convened.
Andy Muschietti, who directed both It: Chapter One (2017) and It: Chapter Two (2019) will serve as an executive producer, reports Variety. Barbara Muschietti and Jason Fuchs are executives producing. The trio developed the story, and Fuchs is writing the script. Muschietti signed on to direct the first episode if the series is ordered.
King's It novel runs well over 1,000 pages and includes plenty of background details to explore in a series. The book was first adapted as a two-part miniseries in 1990 featuring Tim Curry as Pennywise. After many failed attempts to bring the story to the big screen, Warner Bros. finally succeeded with Muschietti's film, which was a critical and financial hit. It: Chapter Two was less successful, but earned positive reviews for its cast. Bill Skarsgard starred as Pennywise in both films.
HBO Max's decision to move ahead with Welcome to Derry comes after the streamer surprisingly passed on Overlook in August 2021. The J.J. Abrams-produced project would have told horror stories set at the Overlook Hotel, the hotel featured in King's The Shining and Doctor Sleep. The Hollywood Reporter's sources said Netflix was a likely landing spot for Overlook. However, there have been no developments on Overlook since HBO Max passed.
HBO Max has mined other Warner Bros. hits for upcoming projects. Colin Farrell will star as The Penguin in a series for the streamer after playing the villain in The Batman. (There was also a series about the Gotham Police Department in the works, but it is not moving forward.) A series about the Bene Gesserit from Dune is also in development.