IT Prequel Series Welcome to Derry in Development at HBO Max

WarnerMedia is floating a return to Derry, Maine. HBO Max is reportedly developing IT spinoff Welcome to Derry, a prequel series set in the fictional small town from the works of Stephen King. According to Jeff Sneider of industry insider newsletter The Ankler, who was the first to report the IT prequel, a writers' room has convened to tell "the origin story of Pennywise the Clown as well as the dawn of the 27-year curse that haunts the small Maine town." It's unclear if HBO Max has officially greenlit Welcome to Derry or whether characters from the two-part IT films will appear.

Best known as the hometown of the "Losers Club" in IT, the town of Derry is a setting in King's short story "The Bird and the Album" and the novels Insomnia and 11/22/63

The history of Derry is marred by mysterious disappearances, including the 340 settlers who went missing after founding the Derry Township in 1741 and another 91 people who vanished without a trace after signing the charter establishing the town. Derry's past is one of tragedy and violent deaths, including the Derry Padrinos gang massacre of 1864, an ax-wielding maniac's killing spree in 1904, and the Kitchener Ironworks explosion that killed 102 people — most of them children — on Easter Sunday 1906. 

In 2019, IT and It Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti hinted at more IT when he told Gizmodo that there's a "whole mythology to the book" about Pennywise, the trans-dimensional entity that has long haunted Derry.

"Mythology is something that always has opportunities to explore. It has been on Earth for millions of years. He's been in contact with humans for hundreds of years, every 27 years. So you can imagine the amount of material," Muschietti said at the time. "It's always exciting to think of eventually exploring this mythology. It's very exciting. But, for now, there's nothing on the table."

In a separate interview with CinePOP that same year, Muschietti said he would consider making a Pennywise prequel "eventually." 

Released in 2017 and 2019, Muschietti's IT films grossed a combined $1.17 billion worldwide for Warner Bros. Both films are now streaming on HBO Max.