One of the most anticipated shows of the year, Castle Rock, is drawing near with its July start only two months away. We have seen the trailer and have an idea of what to expect, but Entertainment Weekly has enticed fans with new details and stills.
The Stephen King driven universe, besides its star-studded cast, looks to blend familiar characters and overlying themes into a new anthology experience.
A small town by the name of Orange, Massachusetts, has been transformed over the last months into the dark, grisly, town of Castle Rock. Locals helped with the renovation of their beloved town by putting up Castle Rock signs in their windows and even selling merchandise specific to the show.
EW met with actors and production team mid-December in the town of Orange, where Andre Holland was filming a scene for the season finale.
Holland’s character, lawyer Henry Deaver, is the main protagonist in Castle Rock. Henry seems traumatized by his childhood and finds himself back in the last place he ever thought (and wants) to be.
Via Joblo, “As a child, Henry (Andre Holland) was involved in an accident that left his father dead and him the sole suspect, but he has no memory of it and eventually fled when townspeople turned against him. Now a death-row attorney with few connections — his clients, see, usually die — Henry only returned home because a mysterious inmate at Shawshank State Penitentiary (Bill Skarsgård), who was discovered in a cage deep beneath the facility, asked for him. Only him. Yet, Henry has never heard of the inmate — and the inmate, nicknamed “The Kid,” has been in solitary confinement so long that he may be insane.”
Skarsgård is now best known for his portrayal of Pennywise in Andy Muschietti’s IT; however, this role does not seem far off the crazy meter. He is the second actor from IT to join the cast of Castle Rock. Chosen Jacobs (who played the young Mike Hanlon) will also be featured in the series.
“He’s a very traumatized creature,” Skarsgård says of his character to EW. “He’s very feral. He’s not normal. Everything is off and wounded in some way.” But why? “A lot of what he’s been through has shaped who he is, and …” Skarsgård chuckles. “I can’t say who he is without revealing what he’s been through.”
Apparently, those words are what hooked J.J Abrams to sign on board as executive producer. Once Abrams heard the ideas for the pilot episode of Castle Rock from co-creators Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, it was a done deal.
“I was like, ‘This is going to be so much fun,’ ” recalled Abrams. “There were things they were pitching that were truly terrifying and truly creepy.”
The self-proclaimed “Stephen King heads,” Shaw and Thomason hope to evoke a true Stephen King feel. Not only will they hope to match the same look and tone but the creators also look to use exact characters and settings from his extensive list of work. His library consists of 56 novels and 200 short stories…..and counting.
With so much to options to choose from, the possibility of a muddled story line was a fear co-creators wanted to avoid.
“When we returned to his library, a lot of his stories about prison and justice were really compelling to us,” said Shaw. “They’re the closest things to true-life monster stories that we tell ourselves as a culture. How do we assign blame? How do we reckon with the idea of evil and whether we believe in it?”
Thomason added, “The germ of the idea was to think about the kinds of people who have the grit to stick it out in a place that’s been terrorized over and over again. Who stays in a place like that?”
Residents of Castle Rock all seem to be in a permanent state of resentment and bitterness. From the real-estate agent who works in a town where no one is looking to buy property, to Alan Pangborn, the hero of novels Needful Things and The Dark Half who is no longer. The residents of the town will also see the return of the highly regarded (and my personal favorite) Sissy Spacek.
After 41 years, she will return to the Stephen King Universe as the adoptive mother of Henry. She first appeared as the starring role in Carrie, King’s first book-to-film adaptation. Spacek’s character’s complexity in Castle Rock is what drew her back into this dark world of Kings’. Not only will she struggle with past issues in the series but her character will also be suffering from dementia, struggling to remember where and when she is.
“The Stephen King world is a good place to be. This story, really, is an homage to him,” said Spacek. “I hope we were able to do him proud.”
No worries are needed when the King himself gave his seal of approval after viewing the pilot. He actually enjoyed Castle Rock so much he signed on as an executive producer.
“It was a very, very cool moment, when J.J. forwarded us the email,” Shaw said with a laugh. “You want to be sure that when Stephen King watches your Stephen King show, he’s happy and maybe just a little scared.”
As the biggest fan of Carrie, I am excited to see Spacek back in this world. I truly hope to see some glimmer of Carrie White in the series but for now, we will be excited to just gaze upon one of the original scream queens.
Are you excited for Castle Rock? Who is your favorite Stephen King character? Let us know in the comments.