Stephen King Floats Excited Reaction As IT Prequel Series Is Officially Heading For Streaming

 Pennywise leaps from a screen in IT
Pennywise leaps from a screen in IT

For a good chunk of last year, Stephen King fans had reason to worry about the IT prequel series being developed for HBO Max, as it wasn't clear if the project would move forward amidst all of the tumult happening behind the scenes with the streaming service. Thankfully, concerns were appeased when it was announced last fall that a pair of showrunners had been hired, and now Constant Readers everywhere can be thrilled because Welcome To Derry has been given a series order and is officially becoming a reality.

Fans of IT – including the original novel, the 1990 miniseries, and the two-part film adaptation released in 2017 and 2019 – will obviously be stoked to hear this news, and they're not alone. Stephen King is evidently also elated that the project is moving forward, and has issued a statement saying as much. In a press release announcing the great news for Welcome To Derry, King is quoted saying,

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!

As noted by Stephen King, Welcome To Derry is in the works from some of the same talent that delivered IT and IT: Chapter Two to the big screen: Andy Muschietti (who directed both of the hit films and will be directing multiple episodes of the show, including the premiere), and his sister Barbara Muschietti, who is her sibling's producing partner. They are collaborating on the HBO Max original with actor/writer Jason Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane, who will be the co-showrunners.

Details about neither the specific plot nor the setting of the series have been officially revealed, though original reports about the project said that it would start in the 1960s and feature events that lead up to the story in 2017's IT (which begins in October 1988).

The press release doesn't mention anything about casting, but the big question now lingering about Welcome To Derry is whether or not the show will see Bill Skarsgård return as Pennywise The Dancing Clown. The actor is utterly brilliant and nightmare-inducing in both IT and IT: Chapter Two, and the idea of seeing more of him in the role is a major component adding to excitement about this project. It's admittedly a touch concerning that the series would get the green light from HBO Max without him already being attached, but Constant Readers can keep fingers crossed that we'll get special and specific announcement in the coming weeks/months.

We don't yet know when Welcome To Derry will aim to start production, but stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates. In the meantime, you can read about all of the Stephen King-related projects in the works with our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide, and dig into the full history of King's fiction that has been adapted with my Adapting Stephen King column.

And if you're immediately feeling the need to be ensconced in the creepiness of Derry, Maine, 2017's IT is now available to stream with a Netflix subscription.