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The Much Anticipated Prequel Series to ‘It’ and ‘It Chapter Two’ is Confirmed

Photo Credit: Rami545 / New Line Cinema / MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: Rami545 / New Line Cinema / MovieStillsDB

Stephen King is one of the most famous horror authors of all time, whose stories are perhaps only rivaled by classic works like Frankenstein and DraculaUndoubtedly one of his best-known works is It, the harrowing story of an evil clown named Pennywise, who hunts young children as his prey. The novel was so successful that it’s been adapted to the screen many times, with a newly announced prequel series now underway.

Stephen King’s It

Written by King in 1986, It quickly became popular among critics and readers alike, and was the best-selling hardcover fiction book in the United States the year of its release. It received numerous accolades in the years following publication, including the British Fantasy Award in 1987. It’s no wonder that something so popular has been featured on screen multiple times throughout the years.

Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown growling at the camera.
Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in episode one of the original 1990 miniseries It. (Photo Credit: soul-distortion/ The WB Television Network/ MovieStillsDB)

It first appeared on television in the 1990 two-part miniseries of the same name, earning many award nominations. There was a lesser-known 1998 Indian television series called Woh which, in complete contrast to the American version, was a staggering 52 episodes long.

Most recently a two-part Hollywood film series was released – It in 2017 and It Chapter Two in 2019. The newly announced series builds on the world created in the latter two movies.

Welcome to Derry

The prequel to It, called Welcome to Derry, is being produced by HBO Max. They have hired back Andy and Barbara Muschietti, the siblings who directed the last two movies, to work alongside two other HBO writers. It’s still unknown whether Bill Skarsgård will reprise his role as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, for which he received immense praise.

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the clown reflected side by side in a mirror.
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in a publicity still for It: Chapter Two. (Photo Credit: Nofear6061/ New Line Cinema/ MovieStillsDB)

The official press release didn’t give much away. “Set in the world of Stephen King’s It universe, Welcome to Derry is based on King’s It novel and expands the vision established by filmmaker Andy Muschietti in the feature films It and It Chapter Two.” The show will still take place in Derry, but in the 1960s, leading up to the beginning of the original story which was set in the late 1980s.

The author’s excitement

HBO Max’s head of original content elaborated: “This prequel will expand the It storytelling canvas and bring fans deeper into the terrifying, mesmerizing town of Derry.” It has also been confirmed that there will be some exploration of Pennywise’s origins, which is sure to be a horrifying topic. Although there hasn’t been an announcement about the production schedule, that hasn’t stopped the excitement.

Stephen King standing in front of two movie posters for It.
Author Stephen King attends a special screening of It at Bangor Mall Cinemas 10, September 6, 2017. (Photo Credit: Scott Eisen/ Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

More from us: These are 13 of Some of the Best Classic Horror Movies of All Time, According to Rotten Tomatoes

In fact, Stephen King might be just as excited about the news of Welcome to Derry as fans are. He said in the press release, “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!”

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.