Welcome To Derry: Release date, cast and plot for IT prequel series

Return to the Stephen King-verse for Pennywise: The Early Years…

Welcome to Derry is coming to MAX in 2025. (Getty/Warner Bros.)
Welcome to Derry is coming to MAX in 2025. (Getty/Warner Bros.)

IT director Andy Muschietti will float once more in Welcome To Derry, a new series that’ll act as a prequel to his two-part feature film adaptation of author Stephen King’s killer clown horror.

Released in 2017, Muschietti’s IT saw Bill Skarsgard inherit the red balloons, dead eyes and toothy grin of Pennywise The Dancing Clown from veteran actor Tim Curry who first used the character to terrify audiences in a mini-series released in 1990.

Set in the small fictional town of Derry, King’s story follows a group of young misfits affectionately known as ‘The Losers Club’ and their encounters with an otherworldly, fear-eating clown monster - first as children and later as adults. Muschietti's take on the story ended with the release of Chapter Two in 2019 - but the memory of Pennywise has lingered in the minds of audiences ever since.

As a result, we’ll soon find ourselves back in clown country but what do we know about Welcome To Derry? Let’s take a look.

When will Welcome to Derry be released?

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in It: Chapter One
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in It: Chapter One. (Warner Bros)

Welcome to Derry will debut on HBO’s streaming service Max at some point in 2025 but unfortunately, we don’t know when exactly it’ll surface.

The show was originally due to arrive during Halloween 2024 but was delayed due to fall-out from the recently-concluded Hollywood strikes.

Is there a trailer for Welcome to Derry?

Strictly speaking, no - there’s no trailer available for Welcome To Derry just yet.

However, a recent sizzle reel showcasing HBO’s upcoming TV slate did provide a tantilising first look at the show - alongside an ominous and iconic red balloon.

Nestled amongst clips for upcoming shows like True Detective: Night Country, The Penguin, House of the Dragon season two and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s latest series, HBO’s new teaser saved snippets of Welcome to Derry to its final moments. Watch it above from the 1.35 mark.

What is the plot for Welcome to Derry?

Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in It: Chapter One
Welcome To Derry will explore the origins of Pennywise The Dancing Clown. (Warner Bros)

Welcome to Derry has been developed by the director of the recent IT movie adaptations Andy Muschietti and his sister Barbara who acted as a producer on both films.

Together with screenwriter Jason Fuchs, they’ll take us back into King’s haunted town for a prequel story that aims to explore what happened before the events of Muscietti’s movies while also giving us some deeper background on the origins of Pennywise the Clown.

When it comes to how exactly this will be delivered, the show’s creators are keeping their cards close to their chest. However, we do know that Welcome to Derry will be set in the 1960s.

Stephen King on Good Morning Britain
Legendary horror author Stephen King. (Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

While King’s original novel introduced us to The Loser’s Club in the late 1950s, Muschietti’s take brought the story forward to start in the 1980s. Without knowing which timeline the Muschiettis and Fuchs will be following, it’s hard to predict which characters might appear in Welcome to Derry - although, it’s likely a very safe bet that the series will be linked to his own 2017 version.

While audiences may have differing views on the idea of mining King’s book for more story, the author himself is behind the idea, saying: “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!”

Who is starring in Welcome to Derry?

Actor Jovan Adepo is wearing a mauve jacket and white tee shirt.
Jovan Adepo will star alongside an ensemble cast. (Getty Images)

We know who’s starring in Welcome to Derry, we just don’t know who they’ll be playing.

On the cast list so far is Babylon actor Jovan Adepo, Gotham's Chris Chalk, Zola's Taylour Page, memorable character actor James Remar, Stephen Rider from the Daredevil TV series, and Madeline Stowe, star of films like 12 Monkeys and The Last of the Mohicans.

As new details emerge about the show, we’ll hopefully start to get a better idea about how they fit into the overall story and Pennwise’s past.

Welcome to Derry will debut on Max in 2024. A UK release date is not yet known.