I’m slightly apprehensive about it not being set in New York, which was a character in the other films. It’s one of a few cities in the world with that quality. I’m not sure some random small town can fill in for it.
No. No it can't. It's definitely trying to evoke the Stranger Things small town/kids vibe which is so popular right now. IT too with the small town Derry and kids. It COULD work, but I would also prefer the New York setting. I'm optimistic for this though, I hope it's enough of a hit to relaunch the franchise.