The announcement that an It prequel series called “Welcome to Derry” will be airing on HBO Max took fans by surprise, especially since it’s something that’s been talked about amongst fans since the last film ended. The series is said to take place in the 1960s & is a prequel to the 2017 film, which isn’t a surprise since Andy Muschietti, who directed the 2017’s It & 2019’s It Chapter 2, & his wife Barbara Muschietti will return this time as executive producers.
Since the series is set in the ’60s, what characters can we see? Will new characters be created for this period, or will we see familiar characters? I think we’ll get a mixture of both & want the story to be tied to Mike Hanlon.
Now, obviously, Mike in Muschietti’s story wasn’t born in the 60s but his parents, William Hanlon & Jessica Hanlan, had to have been around during the 60s & we know that his grandfather has some knowledge of the evil in the town. I would like to see a series that follows William after his time in the military & has him looking into the deaths happening around Derry due to Pennywise’s 27-year return, which will ultimately bring him face-to-face with Pennywise himself.
‘It’ Prequel Series in The Works at HBO Max (4geekslikeyou.com)
Of course, the series wouldn’t focus just on William, but it also wouldn’t follow the Losers’ Club format either. In the novel, William was 16 when he entered the military, so he’d most likely be in his early 20s in the series, depending on how long the series would make him stay in the military. William met his soon-to-be wife while he was in the army & also met Dick Hallorann. For those that don’t remember Dick, he’s from The Shining novel & film & he has an ability called “The Shining” that gives him telepathic abilities & gives him the ability to see the dead. Dick was one of the owners & the main cook in The Black Spot, an African American club in Derry. Also, before Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shinning, hit theaters in 2019, WB had plans to release a film called Hallorann based on Hallorann’s life before The Shinning. However, the studio stuffed that idea under the rug due to Doctor Sleep’s low box office numbers. If Hallorann is a part of the series, this could be WB’s way of pushing a spin-off series that focuses on Hallorann after Derry. The series should also include some Native American representation, especially since in the film, a tribe in Derry was the one that created the Ritual of Chüd in a failed attempt to kill Pennywise.
Some might say that having William, Dick, Jessica & a Native American character as leads will seem like a soft reboot of HBO Max’s Lovecraft Country, which dealt with racism & the supernatural. Still, I don’t see Warner Bros following in the steps of that show, mainly since the show was limited to those themes. I believe having William & Jessica involved in the series would work because Mike & his family came across Pennywise before & in It Chapter 2, Mike’s grandfather alludes to knowing about Pennywise’s presence in Derry.
I also don’t believe this show will be heavily focused on the supernatural side of Derry but will be focused on the evil acts done by its citizens of Derry & will shine some light on the secrets hidden within the town. There’s way too much history in Derry that hasn’t been explored. The uncovering of human monsters & the fact that Pennywise is known to stick around Derry for 1-3 years can be explored. Also, they could roll this series out as an anthology series similar to American Horror Story.