Thanks to the box office success of IT, Stephen King adaptations couldn’t be hotter right now. So, the timing really is perfect for the upcoming Hulu Original Castle Rock, a psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse. The cast and writers joined fans at New York Comic Con to share new secrets and discuss the show.
A short teaser debuted at the panel revealed a handful of King Easter eggs and references that the show will tie together. There’s a dog that looks an awful lot like Cujo, for instance, and a law enforcement vehicle with a Shawshank Prison decal.
“Shawshank is quite close to the town of Castle Rock,” co-writer Dustin Thomason says. “The series ropes it when Henry Deaver is brought back to Castle Rock because of an unusual case at Shawshank Prison.”
Deaver, played by André Holland (Moonlight), is a death row attorney with a complicated past. The case he returns to work on, Thomason says, involves a character played by IT star Bill Skarsgård. The writers will only say that he has “an unusual legal problem.”
Skarsgård, who’s riding high after playing Pennywise in this year’s IT, says Castle Rock was a nice change, even if it’s still in the horror genre. “The story is true to Stephen King,” he said. “But my character couldn’t be further away from Pennywise. I love to play characters and become something that I’m not in real life.”
The series stars Carrie actress Sissy Spacek who was tightlipped about the details of her character but told the crowd, “I wasn’t sure I was going to get to do something this twisted again.”
Spacek plays Ruth Deaver, the adoptive mother of Holland’s character. She’s in a relationship with a character King fans will be more than familiar with, Alan Pangborn. Pangborn, played by Scott Glenn, is the long-standing Sheriff of Castle Rock.
“The series looks at what it means for Pangborn to still be sheriff in this town after all these years, and everything he’s seen,” Thomason says. “He’s the ‘lion in winter,’ looking back at the dark history of what he watched happen here.”
— Castle Rock (@castlerockhulu) October 8, 2017
Melanie Lynskey’s character is a real estate agent in Castle Rock, a job that’s probably pretty difficult when you think about it. She says, “She has to work extra hard to put a positive spin on things. There’s a story behind every house. Something horrible has happened everywhere.”
Skarsgård and Holland praised the series, the pilot, in particular, saying it’s what drew them to the project. “I read the pilot, and the script was spectacular,” said Skarsgård. “I love my character — it’s just so mysterious.”
“The pilot is probably the best pilot I’ve ever read in my life,” Holland said.
Combining the mythical scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — billed as a “first-of-its-kind reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”
From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Castle Rock premieres 2018 on Hulu.