It’s seems we’re living in the golden age of Stephen King adaptations, so it makes sense that one of his most popular fictional settings — the sleepy but eerie town of Castle Rock, Maine — is getting the star treatment in Hulu’s upcoming series, Castle Rock. Inspired by the works of King and described by Hulu as a psychological-horror series “weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland,” the Castle Rock TV show will have a 10-episode run and premiere sometime in 2018. The plot details have been kept under wraps thus far, but the creators have dropped major clues in both interviews and teaser trailers. Here’s everything we know about Castle Rock so far.
1. The show is inspired by the works of Stephen King.
For the Castle Rock TV show, creators/writers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason drew inspiration from several of King’s most popular works set in and around the fictional town, including Needful Things, Cujo, The Dead Zone, the novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (from his collection Different Seasons), and others.
The show isn’t based around one particular story, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see a few familiar faces along the way. The two teaser trailers have been full of several King-themed Easter eggs, with references to characters like Annie Wilkes (from Misery) and Danny Torrance (from The Shining). Despite the fact that these characters appear in novels that don’t take place nearby, this might not be as wild as it seems — The Hollywood Reporter revealed earlier this year that the series will run as an anthology and “weave together characters and themes” using Castle Rock as the main location.
2. The new teaser trailer is amazingly creepy — and packed with clues.
The Castle Rock TV show was announced back in February with a teaser trailer, but last weekend at New York Comic Con, we got our first real look at what we can expect to see from the series. From a creepy St. Bernard (Cujo anyone?) to a missing child poster (a reference to It?) and a Shawshank Prison cruiser sinking ominously into the water, the trailer seems tailor-made to get King fans hyped up.
3. The cast features some serious star power.
While most details about Castle Rock are still being kept under wraps, we know the cast includes some serious heavy hitters, such as André Holland (Moonlight), Scott Glenn (The Silence of the Lambs), Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness), Jane Levy (Suburgatory), and others. Actress Sissy Spacek, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Carrie (1976), will also make a long-overdue return to the King multiverse with this series.
4. Pennywise could be making an appearance.
Will Pennywise the Dancing Clown surface in Castle Rock? He could! While King’s legendary big bad basically owns the nearby fictional town of Derry, he could be making a pit stop in Castle Rock at some point, too. You can spot Pennywise’s name (and hear his terrifying cackle) in the initial teaser trailer. More importantly, Bill Skarsgård, who starred as Pennywise in the recent It adaptation, is credited as a cast regular (although he appears in the latest trailer without makeup), and his character is described as a death row inmate with a peculiar legal problem. Is he a totally new character or Pennywise in disguise? Either way, we’ll be on the edge of our seats!
5. J.J. Abrams serves as executive producer.
J.J. Abrams is on board to executive produce the upcoming series, which definitely means we’re in for some surprises. Abrams’s production company, Bad Robot, previously collaborated with King and Hulu for the television adaptation of 11.22.63 in 2016.
6. It’s being filmed in New England.
Production for the series officially kicked off during summer 2017 at New England Studios in Devens and Orange, MA, The Boston Globe reported. It’s the first TV show in 30 years to be filmed in the state, and more than 1,000 local residents tried out to be extras over the summer. In a interview with The Greenfield Reporter, casting director Julie Knowlton revealed how important local extras will be to giving the show a more realistic feel:
“Any movie, any TV show, any thing you see where there’s people in the background, if those people weren’t there, how would it look? It wouldn’t look real. So everyone is really, really important.”
7. King wants you to be afraid of what you’ll experience with Castle Rock.
The Castle Rock TV show is the latest in a string of recent Stephen King adaptations to arrive on screen, and while recent retellings like It, Mr. Mercedes, and Gerald’s Game have won over audiences and critics alike, it looks like Castle Rock could be the most exciting one yet. Earlier this year, the Master of Horror even took to Twitter to plug the upcoming series, and warned fans to “be afraid.”
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