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Welcome to Derry release date speculation, cast, plot, and more news

Stephen King's Pennywise is back, and he's getting a truly creepy origin story when the Welcome to Derry release date rolls around.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in IT

When is the Welcome to Derry release date? Any Stephen King fan worth their salt knows why you should be terrified of a trip to Derry.

This small Maine town is the home to something evil, something hungry…something that can only be described as IT. King’s terrifying monster has been at the center of one of the best horror movies ever made (and a very cheesy but lovable ’90s TV movie). But evil never really dies, and now a horror series set in Derry is on the way. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Welcome to Derry release date?

Welcome to Derry will be released around October 2025.

The series had previously been scheduled to debut around Halloween 2024, though various factors — including 2023’s strikes — have now pushed this back by an entire year, according to HBO chair Casey Bloys (via Variety.) At a press event, he explained, “Welcome to Derry, we had had that scheduled for Halloween of 2024. That’s likely 2025.”

Bloys’ comments make it sound clear that the goal is still to aim for a Halloween release date, albeit a year later than had previously been planned. At least we’ve got It Chapters One and Two, plus the questionable ’90s TV movie to keep us occupied until then.

Welcome to Derry release date: The group of young children from IT

Who’s in the Welcome to Derry cast?

A few names have been announced for the cast, but we’re still waiting to find out who they play and who’ll take on the iconic role of Pennywise the Clown.

Bill Skarsgård announced (to the disappointment of fans everywhere) that he wouldn’t be returning as the killer clown, leaving open the question of who would be stepping into Pennywise’s over-sized clown shoes. We’ll be sure to keep tabs on what’s what and who’s who, to don’t forget to check back.

Here’s the Welcome to Derry cast list:

  • Taylour Paige as TBC
  • Madeleine Stowe as TBC
  • Stephen Rider as TBC
  • Jovan Adepo as TBC
  • Chad Rook as TBC
  • Chris Chalk as TBC
  • James Remar as TBC

On the creative side, we know that Andy Muschietti, who directed the two movies, would be directing a few episodes as well. Specifically, he’ll be helming the pilot, which is a great sign. After all, he knows Pennywise better than any of us.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in IT

What is Welcome to Derry about?

Welcome to Derry will serve as an origin story for Pennywise and will be set long before the Loser’s Club ever became friends.

First things first, Stephen King never wrote an It prequel, so there’s no detailed backstory for the malevolent evil that stalks Derry, other than what we hear in the novel and movies. This means the series could go any direction, but we know it’ll be set in the 1960s.

When the movies were made, Muschietti revealed that they’d cut a scene which took a look at Pennywise’s past, which was deemed to be “really, really disturbing.” Spoilers: it almost definitely involves eating children.

At the end of the day, Pennywise isn’t just ‘some guy’ in a clown costume. He’s literally the embodiment of evil — a shape-shifting monster that appears in the form of whatever his victim fears the most. He (it) arrived on Earth in an asteroid. However, in the book, It also claims that its true name is Robert “Bob” Gray (not the most intimidating name in the world, let’s be real).

If we were being completely honest, an origin story of an otherworldly creature arriving on Earth doesn’t sound like the best idea. A ’60s set mystical sci-fi seems pretty complicated, and we think King’s work is best adapted when it’s simple and effective. With this in mind, we’ve got our hopes set for a ’60s killing spree-style origin, with Pennywise already being established.

welcome to derry release date: pennywise in it chapter 2

Is there a Welcome to Derry trailer?

There isn’t a Welcome to Derry trailer just yet, but we expect one will arrive in early 2025. 

If the premiere date sticks to October 2025, then it would make sense to release the trailer a few months beforehand. This means, of course, we’re stuck waiting for the time being, but we do have the first official behind-the-scenes look, which director Andy Muschietti posted on Instagram.

The picture gives a glimpse of the police station, with an embellished door showing the name of the Chief of Police, Clint Bowers. (If the name Bowers sounds familiar, it’s because Henry Bowers was the name of the young villain in IT Chapters One and Two.)

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Where can I watch Welcome to Derry?

Welcome to Derry will be exclusively available on the streaming service HBO Max.

For fans outside the US, it’s likely the series will be available to view on NOW TV and certain Sky channels, as has been the case with other HBO Max/Max series in the past. We will keep you updated as more streaming news heads our way.

welcome to derry release date: pennywise in it chapter 2

How many episodes of Welcome to Derry will there be?

It’s unconfirmed how many episodes Welcome to Derry will have, but we expect to see ten. 

Considering how HBO Max series such as The Last of Us and Succession have ten episodes, it stands to reason that the streamer’s next popular series will follow the trend.

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Will Bill Skarsgård be in Welcome to Derry?

Skarsgård has said he isn’t officially involved in Welcome to Derry.

To be honest, he’s probably too busy these days appearing in action movies like John Wick 4. That said, we can’t imagine resisting the opportunity to slip in a Skarsgård cameo if the opportunity presented itself.

If you love a good scare, check out our lists of the best monster movies and best slasher movies. (We like to think Pennywise is a bit of both.) Elsewhere, you can also check out our feature on why PG-13 horror can be great, and keep tabs on The Conjuring 4 release date.