HBO Is Making an 'IT' Prequel Series If You Need More Eerie Red Balloons in Your Streaming Queue

Almost four decades since Stephen King's horror tome first hit bookshelves, 'Welcome to Derry' will continue the creepy franchise on the small screen.
Sarah Ward
February 27, 2023

If you're not fond of clowns, find yourself scurrying past sewers and simply can't stand red balloons, there's probably one big reason for your phobias. Maybe you read Stephen King's horror tome IT, which first hit bookshelves back in 1986. Perhaps you saw the 1990 miniseries, which turned Tim Curry from The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Frank N Furter into the transdimensional evil entity known as Pennywise. In 2017, you might've seen the IT movie on the big screen, too, then backed it up in 2019 with sequel IT: Chapter Two.

Whichever fits, your fears are about to get another workout — via your streaming queue, and if you dare. HBO has officially greenlit a prequel series set in the world of IT, and in King's go-to town of Derry, Maine. Fittingly called Welcome to Derry, it'll step through the locale's scares before the terror that viewers have already seen and experienced.

Returning to oversee the show is filmmaker Andy Muschietti, who helmed the most recent two movies and next directs DC Extended Universe flick The Flash. So far, the rest of the details are scare, including the exact storyline, all cast members, when it'll arrive and how many episodes there are to look forward to. But Muschietti will direct multiple instalments, including the first. Also, the show is still based on King's novel, and will expand Muschietti's vision from his two features.

"As teenagers, we took turns reading chapters of Stephen King's IT until the thick paperback fell to pieces," said Muschietti and his sister Barbara Muschietti, who'll also work on Welcome to Derry, announcing the news.

"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, humour, humanity and horror."

"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!" added King.

If you've somehow missed all things IT so far, it follows the exploits of maniacal clown Pennywise, as well as the folks he's rather fond of terrorising. In the recent movies, Bill Skarsgård (Barbarian) put on the demonic makeup. In the first film, his targets were all kids. In the second, those teens — the Losers Club — were all grown up and still getting spooked.

It's too early for a Welcome to Derry trailer, but you can watch the IT and IT: Chapter Two trailers below:

Welcome to Derry doesn't yet have a release date, including Down Under — we'll update you when one is announced.

Published on February 27, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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