It’s hard to talk about the upcoming Hulu series Castle Rock because an air of mystery has surrounded the show since it was first announced. Let’s start with what we know: Created by writers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, the series is based on the works of Stephen King. The titular setting is Castle Rock, Maine, a small town that has appeared in numerous King works including in Cujo, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Needful Things and The Dead Zone.
There have already been a few trailers for Castle Rock, but they’ve largely set up the mood rather than establish the plot. Of course, this is a production from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, so it’s no surprise we’re short on answers. Anyway, this new trailer reveals that André Holland (Moonlight, The Knick) is playing a lawyer returning to his hometown of Castle Rock to investigate a mysterious prisoner at Shawshank Penitentiary played by Bill Skarsgård.
Skarsgård’s casting is where the real mystery of Castle Rock lies. Put on your tin foil hats, because it’s theory time. We know this show will be using elements from King’s books. In addition to the explicit reference to Shawshank, there are also nods to Cujo and frequent King locale Juniper Hills Asylum. One of the most notable residents of Juniper Hills was Henry Bowers, a bully who tormented the Losers Club in It. And what is Bill Skarsgård’s most famous role? The titular monster in the 2017 adaptation of It.
And it doesn’t stop with Skarsgård. Castle Rock cast members Melanie Lynskey and Terry O’Quinn were in the 2002 King-scripted tv miniseries Rose Red and 1985 film Silver Bullet (based on King’s novella Cycle Of The Werewolf), respectively. Perhaps most importantly, acting legend Sissy Spacek is part of the cast, and Spacek was nominated for an Oscar for playing the title role in the 1976 adaptation of Carrie. We’re through the looking glass here, people.
All our questions about Castle Rock will presumably start being answered when the show premiers on July 25th.