Hulu's Castle Rock Pilot Gets a Stephen King Seal of Approval

With Hulu set to premiere drama-thriller anthology series Castle Rock on July 25th, some of the pieces of the story's twisted puzzle are slowly falling into place.

Credit: Hulu

Spearheaded by J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, and executive producers/writers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, the series combines a number of King's works into a "shared universe" narrative based around the famed (and infamous) fictional town. Thanks to our friends at Entertainment Weekly, we have some additional info on what viewers can expect/fear (along with three exclusive pics) from the series that stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgård, Sissy Spacek, and Scott Glenn; as well as some insight into what King himself thought about the series pilot.

Credit: Hulu

Here are some of the highlights:

● Orange, Massachusetts, has the distinct "honor" of being the real-life location for King's Castle Rock.

● During EW's set visit, Holland (lawyer Henry Deaver) was filming a scene from the season finale that's described as "intense" and has Henry rushing into the police station to…???

● Deaver's backstory: as a child, Henry was the sole suspect in his father's mysterious death – but with no memory of the incident, he fled Castle Rock after the townspeople turned on him. Now a death-row lawyer, Henry returns home after a mysterious inmate at Shawshank State Penitentiary (Skarsgård) whom he's never heard of before asks for him — and only him.

● Skarsgård's character — nicknamed "The Kid" — was discovered in a cage beneath Shawshank, and a long stretch in solitary confinement has left his sanity in question: "He's a very traumatized creature. He's very feral. He's not normal. Everything is off and wounded in some way."

● Skarsgård had an additional line that might get viewers thinking less about who "The Kid" is and more about his connection to the King universe: "A lot of what he's been through has shaped who he is, and … (chuckles) I can't say who he is without revealing what he's been through."

hulu castle rock updates images
Credit: Hulu

● Glenn's Sheriff Alan Pangborn is no longer Castle Rock's sheriff, but he's still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to protecting the people of Castle Rock; a man who lives with, as Glenn states, "a bitterness, day by day" that's directly related to Henry's adoptive mother Ruth Deaver (Spacek).

● While there was some concerns about the author/executive producer's involvement with the series early on, King emailed a positive review to Abrams after screening the pilot – which was promptly forwarded to Thomason and Shaw, who admitted: "It was a very, very cool moment, when J.J. forwarded us the email. You want to be sure that when Stephen King watches your Stephen King show, he's happy."

A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King's best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King's literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — 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 J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost), best-selling author Stephen King and executive producers/writers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, Castle Rock stars André Holland (Moonlight), Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness), Bill Skarsgård (IT), Jane Levy (Suburgatory), Sissy Spacek (Carrie), Scott Glenn (The Right Stuff), Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and Chosen Jacobs (It).

Entertainment Weekly

About Ray Flook

Proudly serving as TV Editor, Ray started with Bleeding Cool in 2013 as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought aboard as staff in 2017. Counting John Cusack as his pop culture "spirit animal," his "word fu" stays strong as he continues trying really hard to be the sheppard...

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