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HBOMax looks to bring Pennywise back from our nightmares once again. Author Stephen King is known for his ability to scare almost anyone, but there may not be another character as evil as Pennywise the Clown. Pennywise, the villain in the novel It, has terrified folks in written form and on the silver screen. Now, the streaming platform might be bringing the maniacal clown into the comfort of our own homes with the It prequel series.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the clown in a production still from 'It: Chapter Two.' HBOMax might be bringing an 'It' prequel series to the streaming platform.
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in ‘It: Chapter Two’ | Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment

The ‘It’ prequel series is currently called ‘Welcome to Derry’

As of April 1, 2022, the series is only in development. However, Variety reports the name of the series as Welcome to Derry

Variety writes, “The series, currently called Welcome to Derry, will begin in the 1960s in the time leading up to the events of It: Chapter One, the 2017 film based on the Stephen King horror novel. The story is also said to include the origin story of Pennywise the Clown.”

Variety listedAndy Muschietti, the director of both It: Chapter One and It: Chapter Two, as executive producer on the show, along with Muschiettis’ sister, Barbara, and Jason Fuchs.

According to Variety’s sources, “The Muschiettis and Fuchs developed the story for the show with Fuchs writing the script. Andy would also direct the first episode should the project go to series. the A writers’ room is now open. Warner Bros. Television is the studio behind the project, with WB having produced the two films.”

What is Pennywise the Clown?

Pennywise appears to the children featured in It as a clown, but the creature can take on almost any form. It takes the person’s greatest fear and manifests itself into that. For example, Eddie, a character in the book, finds germs and illness in general frightening. When Pennywise torments him, he shows up in the form of a leper with oozing sores, threatening to infect Eddie.

This ability creates endless possibilities for scares in the It prequel series. Depending on what each person is afraid of, the monster can manifest into that fear.


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The ‘It’ prequel series has plenty of stories to tell from the people of Derry

King’s stories often feature characters from his other novels, and many of the characters exist within the same universe. In 11/22/63, the book, the main character comes across two children featured in It, and they hint at Pennywise. It gives fans a glimpse of Pennywise’s origins, and the novel implies the creature has existed for centuries.

The It prequel series could create stories around previous residents of Derry and their run-ins with the monster. The novel includes tales from the past woven in through the story of the Loser’s Club and their defeat of Pennywise, such as the incident at The Black Spot, a popular nightclub that burned down. 

As of now, the project is just listed as “in development” and doesn’t officially have the green light. However, banking on the popularity of the characters, how well the movie did, and King’s colossal fan base, it seems as though the It prequel series could be a hit for HBO Max.