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HBO Max's IT Prequel Series - What We Know So Far

People have gotten a bad vibe off of clowns for many years, but it was Stephen King's popular novel "IT" which exploited that fear in order to really terrify fans of the genre. The book was published in 1985 and is well over a thousand pages long. The length and physical weight of the book was one of the many criticisms levied against the work, but the novel was still effective enough at scaring the bejesus out of its readers that it got some notable big- and small-screen adaptations.

The first adaptation was a miniseries from 1990 featuring none other than Tim Curry as the titular murderous clown. It received a 6.8/10 from IMDb and a nearly identical score from Rotten Tomatoes. Unlike the original novel, the 2017 silver screen adaptation was split into two separate films, the latter of which debuted in 2019. "IT" scored a 7.3/10 with IMDb reviewers and an 86% with audiences and critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Based on its warm reception, it's no surprise that people can't get enough of this story — and they're so eager for more that HBO Max is about to give fans more clown-themed nightmares with a chilling prequel series.

Welcome to Derry will be produced by IT alums and will dig deep into Pennywise's backstory

According to Variety, Warner Bros. Television is revisiting their popular "IT" movie franchise on the smaller screen and bringing many of those responsible for the magic of those movies with them. Barbara Muschietti and her brother Andy will be returning to co-produce the new series, with the latter expected to direct the first episode if the project gets greenlit. Jason Fuchs is also set to get an executive producer credit and will be pulling double-duty writing the script. Can Warner Bros. and these three individuals recreate the success of the movies now that we know that a writer's room is officially open and working on the project?

Another really exciting detail we now know is the general premise of the story. Per The Ankler, "Welcome to Derry" is the project's tentative title, and the show is expected to dive deep into the backstories of Pennywise the Clown as well as the curse on the titular Maine town that has the clown returning every 27 years. It'll be interesting to see how much the series jumps through time and which periods of the creature's story may be explored. In Stephen King's original novel, he includes a bit of lore where It nearly wiped out a colony of 300 settlers over the course of three years in the 1740s. But how old is Pennywise, really? Could his backstory go back hundreds — or even thousands — of years? As popular as period pieces are these days, there's a lot of potential material to tap into.