‘It’ prequel series creeps into HBO Max revealing Pennywise’s origin

Image via Warner Bros.

One of the biggest blockbuster horror franchises in recent memory is represented by Andy Muschietti’s It duology, which now may be the subject of a prequel series on HBO Max, tentatively titled Welcome to Derry.

This all comes amid a broader effort from movie studio Warner Bros. to create tie-in series for their exclusive streaming service that are associated with some of their biggest movies, such as a planned Colin Ferrell-starring Penguin spinoff show following the success of The Batman.

Collectively, 2017’s It and 2019’s It Chapter Two hauled in over $1 billion worldwide. The films presented a lot of lore, but frankly only scratched the surface of the elaborate backstory of the creature that periodically terrifies — and feeds off of — the residents of the fictional close-knit community of Derry, Maine.

The only nods we got to whoever the human version of Pennywise had been is only vaguely alluded to in ‘It’ and ‘It Chapter Two’ (Image via Warner Bros.)

According to Variety, Muschietti — the director of the box office smash films — is set to executive produce the series, along with Barbara Muschietti and Jason Fuchs, with the latter also penning the script.

The story will center around the titular community in the 1960s, more than twenty years prior to the 1980s-based first film in the modern franchise. It is said to trace the events leading up to the first film, and will include more of the origin of Pennywise the Clown, the shapeshifting main antagonist. A 19th century carnival worker who resembles the villain, called Bob Gray in the Stephen King novel, was briefly alluded to in It Chapter Two.

In addition to the original It novel in 1985 by the horror bard, a two-part 1990 mini-series also aired on ABC, featuring Tim Curry as the sharp-toothed clown from outer space. In the new 2017 and 2019 films, Bill Skarsgård played the evil jester. Both portrayals are considered by many as seminal performances from each actor that stand on their own.