One of the most popular franchises to receive a revival in the last decade is Stephen King’s IT. The iconic horror author’s most renowned book was given a fresh start by Warner Brothers with Andy Muschietti’s 2017 film “It,” which quickly led to a sequel in 2019. The spine-tinglingly terrifying franchise is now expanding into a new prequel series for WB’s rebranded Max streaming service, and the latest update reveals that “Welcome to Derry” is set to debut in 2024.
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This news was part of a larger Max rebranding announcement where WB outlined their new pricing model and future lineup for the streaming service. The first casting announcements for “Derry” were made earlier this month, introducing a talented ensemble including Taylour Paige, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, and James Remar. The series will be co-showrun by Jason Fuchs and Brad Caleb Kane, with Muschietti himself directing several episodes of “Derry.” Exciting times ahead for IT fans!
What’s Welcome to Derry about?
While there’s still a lot of spine-chilling mystery surrounding the series, “Welcome to Derry” will take us back to the 1960s and gradually lead us up to the events depicted in the first IT film. Although Bill Skarsgård isn’t expected to reprise his role as Pennywise, the series will delve deeper into the villain’s origin story. This is something that was only hinted at in the two IT films. The true nature of Pennywise and how they fit into the larger “King-verse” has remained largely enigmatic, mostly confined to the pages of the author’s hefty 1000-plus page horror masterpiece. As a result, it’s going to be utterly fascinating to see what “Derry” draws from the source material and how it weaves its connections with its cinematic counterpart. Horror fans, get ready for a chilling journey!
The Legacy of IT and Pennywise the Dancing Clown
When Stephen King’s novel “IT” hit bookshelves in 1986, it sent shockwaves through the horror world, and Pennywise quickly made its way to the small screen in a TV movie miniseries, famously portrayed by Tim Curry as the spine-chilling dancing clown. While this miniseries holds a special place in the hearts of many ’90s genre fans, and Curry’s performance remains iconic in the realm of horror, it’s fair to say that the miniseries hasn’t aged all that gracefully.
Enter the 2017 reboot, which brought a fresh wave of terror to a new generation of horror enthusiasts. Following in the footsteps of the book and the miniseries, it became a bona fide pop culture phenomenon. Raking in over $700 million worldwide, it secured its spot as one of the top 5 highest-grossing rated-R films of all time.
What’s particularly clever about the reboot is that it only tackled half of the story, focusing on the younger years of the kids from Derry. This left ample room for the 2019 sequel to pick up the pace. Chapter 2 zooms in on these same characters as adults, with Pennywise making a spine-tingling return 27 years after their initial encounter. Even though this part of the tale is often considered the weakest by fans, Chapter 2 still managed to deliver a hair-raising cinematic experience and became yet another box office triumph for Warner Bros.
This success has, unsurprisingly, led to more remakes of King’s works, such as “Pet Sematary” and “Firestarter.” Yet, the town of Derry remains a wellspring of untapped potential, with one of the most tragically compelling backstories in the history of the horror genre. This prequel series, “Derry,” holds the promise of unearthing even more dark and captivating secrets from this sinister town, and that’s something that should have horror aficionados eagerly anticipating its arrival.