As you’re almost surely aware by now, HBO Max has been working on an IT prequel series for the past year or more. Developed by IT and IT: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti, producer Barbara Muschietti, and actor/screenwriter Jason Fuchs, Welcome to Derry would serve to expand upon the mythology established by Stephen King’s original novel and Muschietti’s two feature film adaptations. A writer’s room was assembled, pencils were put to paper…

…and now, some months later, FANGORIA has just been informed via press release that Welcome to Derry has been given a series order by the folks at HBO Max. Furthermore, the press release tells us that Muschietti himself will direct multiple episodes of the show’s first season, including the series premiere!

Says Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max’s Head of Original Content:

“We are thrilled to continue this iconic franchise with the brilliant Andy and Barbara Muschietti, Jason Fuchs, and Brad Caleb Kane. This prequel will expand the IT storytelling canvas and bring fans deeper into the terrifying, mesmerizing town of Derry.”

Aaand here’s what Andy and Barbara Muschietti have to say for themselves:

“As teenagers, we took turns reading chapters of Stephen King’s IT until the thick paperback fell to pieces. IT is an epic story that contains multitudes, far beyond what we could explore in our IT movies. We can’t wait to share the depths of Steve’s novel, in all its heart, humor, humanity and horror.”

Hm. Sounds like part of the idea here may be to adapt further portions of King’s original novel that didn’t make it to screen: Pennywise’s crash-landing on Earth hundreds of years prior to the events of IT, the extensive slaughter witnessed at the Black Spot bar, perhaps even some of the novel’s more … metaphysical elements (real ones know all about Maturin the Turtle). If Welcome to Derry plans on bringing those sequences to life, on top of providing a fresh central storyline, this could be something very special.

Intriguingly, HBO Max’s press release remains mum on precisely which time period the series will take place in. The prevailing belief is that it’ll move the action one Pennywise-sleep-cycle back in time, into the ’60s. If so, that isn’t mentioned explicitly in today’s announcement. One imagines we’ll get confirmation on that one way or another in the not-too-distant future.

Here’s a quote from Stephen King, to bring this news in for a landing:

“I’m excited that the story of Derry, Maine’s most haunted city, is continuing, and I’m glad Andy Muschietti is going to be overseeing the frightening festivities, along with a brain trust including his talented sister, Barbara. Red balloons all around!”

Red balloons all around, indeed! Nothing further to report on Welcome to Derry at this time, but you can bet your sweet ass that we’ll be closely monitoring this situation for further updates. Stay tuned for those, and in the meantime … stay away from the sewers. There’s all kinds of unpleasant shit down there.

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