The deep, disturbing mythology of Stephen King’s creepy creation Pennywise the Clown might be getting its very own streaming series. Currently being referred to as Welcome to Derry, the show, which is currently in the early stages of development, would tell a 1960s-set story in the same timeline as the recent It movies and, somehow, also weave in Pennywise’s origins.
The Ankler first broke the news of the show, which was then verified by Variety. According to the trade, It movie producers Andy and Barbara Muschietti are returning to produce along with Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs, who’d contribute to the writing. Andy Muschietti, who directed the films, would direct the pilot and a writers’ room is currently putting together a story. Gizmodo has reached out to HBO Max for comment or clarification and will update this story if or when we hear back.
In the original Stephen King book, it’s established that Pennywise first appeared in Derry, Maine centuries ago (after crash-landing on Earth way earlier than that in a meteor from some other dimension, which is a whole other story). Since then, every 27 years or so, it awakes and feeds on the children of the area. The book is told in two main sections with the same characters at different ages: 1957-58 and 1984-85.
However, since this story is set in the same canon as the film series, which begins in 1988 and then jumps to 2016, it seems like it would be set in 1961. However, many questions then arise. Did others kids investigate Pennywise at the time in 1961? Are the adults who had been stalked as kids in 1934 now aware of this? And if either of those are true, how is what happened different from the events of the It movies? Plus, how does an origin set centuries before any of that tie in? One assumes these are the issues this writer’s room will have to break down before the show moves ahead.
As you can see though, there’s certainly lots of history to mine from the King books as well as new story to potentially be created in regards to the movies. The trick will be threading the needle between something that doesn’t disrespect King’s work but also works as a viable new story.
We’ll have more on Welcome to Derry as it either rises from the ashes, or falls back into the Earth.