A Pennywise origin story TV show is in the works

Just when you thought the killer clown was gone for good, the story of ‘It’ is set to return.

by Douglas Greenwood
30 March 2022, 9:28am

Warner Bros

The revival of the It movies gave us genuinely good scares at movie theatres for the first time in ages. Following a group of curious suburban kids in America as they fall into the lethal grasp of a fanged killer clown named Pennywise, the new adaptations of the Stephen King horror story, released in 2017 and 2019, were box office gold, raking in over $1 billion for Warner Bros. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s plans to bring the story to television too: rumour has it that a prequel series to It is currently in development.

In news broke exclusively by industry newsletter The Anker, it’s been revealed that Warner Bros Television are working on a series to air on HBO Max that would take us back to the beginning of the Pennywise story, set in the 1960s, shortly before the events of It: Chapter One. It’s tentatively titled Welcome to Derry, and will apparently recount the origins of Pennywise the Clown.

The origin series is part of a long string of origin story-slash-sequels-slash-spin-offs that Warner Bros are working on, some for television; others for the big screen. Of course, we have the upcoming Wonka origin story starring Timothée Chalamet coming next Christmas, which has just wrapped filming. There’s also rumours of a TV spin-off of the new, Balenciagaified The Batman, focusing on Colin Farrell’s character, The Penguin. HBO Max are also working with Legendary Television on a Dune spin-off for the small screen too, titled Dune: The Sisterhood, about Bene Gesserit, the all-woman cult of mentally superior mind-readers. 

Work on Welcome to Derry is still in its early stages, but we’re feeling good about it: it’s got a great team on board so far. Cast rumours are slim to non-existent, but Andy Muschietti, who directed It: Chapter One and Two has written the story with Jasons Fuchs. Andy and Jason are both executive producers of the series too, alongside Barbara Muschietti. 

Should it get picked up, Andy has agreed to direct the show’s first episode. Writer’s room applications are now open, so intrepid TV screenwriters, the time is now to throw your hat in the ring and be personally responsible for making all of us wet ourselves whenever the series finally airs.

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