The Latest Stephen King Spinoff is Bringing Back the Best Part of It

We all float into the past.

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Prequels are somehow more popular than ever. You can watch Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga in theaters now, and it arrived after The First Omen but before A Quiet Place: Day One and Mufasa: The Lion King. Streaming services are chock full of prequel series, too: just look at Andor, House of the Dragon, and Rings of Power. Now, an iconic horror movie is hopping on the bandwagon, bringing back a star actor and teasing more scares in a new TV origin story.

According to Deadline, the It prequel series Welcome to Derry will bring back Bill Skarsgård to reprise his creepy performance as Pennywise, quashing rumors the series would focus on a younger iteration of the being. Announced in 2022, Welcome to Derry (still just a working title) is part of Max’s TV offerings spun off from movies, like The Batman spinoff The Penguin and the upcoming Dune prequel Dune: Prophecy.

Bill Skarsgård, seen here already planning to terrify more children.

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According to Variety, Welcome to Derry “will begin in the 1960s in the time leading up to the events of It: Part One.” It’s also said the series will feature the origin story of Pennywise, and now that we know Skarsgård is returning, that Pennywise will presumably be the exact same as the one from It.

While the actor returning feels like a given, casting was actually in flux for a while. Just last year, Skarsgård told YouTube channel Jake’s Takes that he hadn’t been contacted about the series yet, and was happy to hand over the clown makeup to another actor. Now that he’s returning, this makes the second time he’s brought a King story to life on a streaming series: he previously starred in the criminally underseen Hulu series Castle Rock.

Skarsgård’s performance would be hard to top, so it makes sense to bring him back.

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The fact Pennywise won’t be recast with a younger or different actor proves how memorable Skarsgård’s nightmarish performance was, and it suggests the series will be more closely related to the It movies than fans may have first thought. We may be seeing Pennywise’s origin story, but it won’t be too far removed from the tale we already know. Hopefully that’s a sign Welcome to Derry will justify its existence as yet another prequel in a crowded market.

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