Everything we know about the It prequel series Welcome to Derry so far

Bill Skarsgärd confirmed to be returning as the iconic clown.
BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller "IT CHAPTER TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller "IT CHAPTER TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. /

It goes without saying that It is one of Stephen King's most beloved and impactful books to date. Published in 1986, the novel follows the fictional town of Derry, Maine which is terrorized by a supernatural entity every 27 years. Through unexplainable disappearances and deaths, the small town is cursed by something without a name, called "it," which disguises itself as the fears of humans.

Most notable is Pennywise the Dancing Clown, one of the many faces It takes on, scaring children throughout the town and sadly, eating some, too. This evil force needs to eat to survive, of course, devastating families throughout centuries.

We've seen the main timeline of It adapted for the screen multiple times now — most memorably the 1990 miniseries and the two-part movie series from 2017 and 2019 — and now, we're going back to an earlier time in the lore. A prequel series was first announced in March 2022 (when Max was still called HBO Max!) called Welcome to Derry.

At that time, it was reported that the show would begin in the 1960s leading up to the events of It (2017), with Andy Muschietti (It and It Chapter Two director) Barbara Muschietti, and Jason Fuchs attached as executive producers. And we've recently learned that Bill Skarsgärd will be returning as Pennywise!

Welcome to Derry first looks

It's been two years since Welcome to Derry was first reported on and we're still waiting for it to come out, but fortunately, Warner Bros. released a first look at footage from the show as part of a 2024-2025 slate video. If you skip to the 1:35 mark in the sizzle reel below, you'll see the first clip from the prequel series, which sees kids riding on bikes with voiceover narration saying: "This ain't America, this is Derry." The clip ends with a menacing hand reaching out of the water to grab a child, along with a red balloon floating in the sky above actor Jovan Adepo.

In May 2023, Muschietti shared a photo from the set of Welcome to Derry, showing the door to Derry Chief of Police Clint Bowers' office. Fans of the It story will remember Henry Bowers, the sadistic bully who goes after The Losers Club. He has an abusive father, who It makes him kill, and he ultimately ends up in a mental hospital. Could Clint Bowers be his awful dad? Well, no, his dad's name is Butch. Clint has to be related to Henry, though. Perhaps Clint could be Henry's grandfather, depending on how old this person is.

Bill Skarsgärd is officially returning as Pennywise

Despite a previous statement saying he wasn't currently involved with the series, Deadline recently confirmed that Skarsgärd will, in fact, be returning as the iconic horror villain. So far, no details have been released regarding how Pennywise will fit into this prequel exactly, though obviously his lore will be a significant part of the storyline.

Remember, since this is a prequel series, we won't be following The Losers Club this time around, though I'm sure we'll recognize characters from the book. We don't know who the announced cast list is playing yet, but in addition to Adepo, other recognizable names are part of the lineup:

  • Jovan Adepo (Fences, 3 Body Problem)
  • Taylour Paige (Zola, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom)
  • James Remar (Dexter, Black Lightning)
  • Chris Chalk (Feud, Perry Mason)
  • Madeleine Stowe (12 Monkeys, Revenge)
  • Stephen Rider (Daredevil, The Butler)
BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller "IT CHAPTER TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer. /

Director promises scares in Welcome to Derry

Entertainment Weekly reports that Andy Muschietti will direct multiple episodes, including the premiere. Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., best known for helming episodes of Shōgun, The Midnight Club, and The Recruit, as well as the 2020 movie Black Box, is also on board to direct and recently spoke with Screen Rant about the show. Though he couldn't reveal any spoilers, he shared:

"Ah, I can't really talk about that. But I will say it's a TV show. So, you learn more about the characters, it's very, very character-driven. I've enjoyed preparing for that show, and I think audiences will be as scared as they are in the original movies, and Andy Muschietti's handprints are all over this series. So, I think people will be very excited for the series. "

Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr.

We'll have to wait until 2025, sadly

Though filming for Welcome to Derry reportedly began in May 2023, they were shut down in July because of the SAG-AFTRA strike. Production was able to get back on track in early 2024, and at the time of this writing, we haven't heard of them wrapping yet. Likely because of the strike, but potentially other issues, the prequel series was pushed back from 2024 to 2025. No word on what time of the year Warner Bros. is eyeing, though a fall release date in time for Halloween would make sense. That said, I'm unsure if they'll want to hold the show for that long.

For now, we know for sure that Welcome to Derry will premiere on Max at some point in 2025.

Fingers crossed that as Welcome to Derry wraps production, we'll get more teases as to what we can expect! I cannot wait to mark the release date on my calendar and start counting down the days. Though generally I'm hesitant about prequels, sequels, or reboots, it makes me feel hopeful that the Muschiettis are behind this. Plus, as a huge It fan, I'd love to see more from the titular entity during a timeline we haven't seen on screen yet.

We'll be keeping this post updated with the latest Welcome to Derry updates, so be sure to check back in with us!

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