Stephen King Says He Isn’t Involved In HBO Max Pennywise Prequel

Fans of Stephen King have wondered for some time whether the author would ever return to the town of Derry and the entity called IT, but it seems that they shouldn’t hold out much hope for a new Pennywise-centric novel because King has revealed he doesn’t “have a relationship to Pennywise now.” According to comments made by King during an appearance on Bloody Disgusting’s The Losers Club Podcast, it seems that he also doesn’t have an input on the Welcome To Derry prequel that is being developed for HBO Max, but he is looking forward to it as a fan.

Stephen King’s epic 1986 novel IT was initially adapted as a TV mini-series in 1990, with Tim Curry famously playing the role of demonic clown Pennywise. While that is still one of the most iconic King adaptations, the two-part movie version released by Warner Bros. in 2017 and 2019 delivered a more brutal take on the novel, and despite a few flaws, the film was a massive success in cinemas. Obviously, this means that Warner Bros. now wants to continue the story of IT, and that will take the form of a prequel series, which is currently being developed by Andy and Barbara Muschietti.

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Speaking on The Losers Club Podcast, King was asked about whether he has any plans to return to the world of IT in a future novel and ended up revealing that he has no plans for that and is also not part of the team working on the prequel. He said:

“Well, I don’t have a relationship to Pennywise now, because I have no intention of going back to IT… it’s in the hands of people who are doing this… Andy and Barbara [Muschietti] are going to do ‘Welcome to Derry,’ they’re talking about it anyway. And they’ve got sort of a handshake deal, I think, with HBO Max. It’s an interesting possibility to do that. They talked about a prequel. Which struck me as an okay idea. I’d love to see what Pennywise was up to 27 years before the ’50s. Or, I guess it would be the ’80s, because they updated the [setting]. So it would be, you know, before World War 2 or something. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen with that.”

Stephen King Has Built His Own Universe Over the Past Five Decades

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Over the years, Stephen King’s work has been tied together by a number of threads, whether it has been the recurring locations of Castle Rock, Derry and Shawshank prison, the omnipresent villain Randall Flagg, or the Dark Tower series which is almost a lynchpin between dozens of King novels, including IT.

When it comes to Pennywise, despite only appearing in one novel, the mythology of the character and his possible return have been seen in many of King’s other works, so it is not surprising that many people have been expecting King to have some kind of further involvement with the stuff of nightmares that is Pennywise. One of the most prominent teases came in King’s 2001 novel Dreamcatcher, when the novel’s central characters visited Derry and discovered the words “Pennywise Lives” written in graffiti on a wall. Although we are now seemingly getting more Pennywise in the HBO Max prequel, it looks like King will be waiting like everyone else to see how it turns out.