‘NOS4A2’: As Christmasland Nears, Author Joe Hill Pens Friendly “Warning to the Curious”

Unless you’ve been living under a pretty spacious rock or haven’t checked out Bleeding Cool’s television coverage in over a year (What the hell, man?!?), then you know AMC is premiering their series adaptation of author Joe Hill’s bestselling supernatural fantasy-horror novel NOS4A2 in June. Over the past few weeks, viewers were treated to teasers, trailers, and behind-the scenes clips for the Ashleigh Cummings Zachary Quinto-starrer – and now, we get to hear from the author himself.

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What follow is a letter from Hill, where he opens up about how the novel came to life and why Vic was such a good “travelling companion” for him over the years, and why fans of the novel chould give the AMC series a try:

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A Warning to the Curious:

Lon Chaney once said, “There’s nothing funny about a clown at midnight.” I’d add that there’s nothing heart-warming about Christmas music playing in a graveyard. Nightmares — and good horror fiction — take the things we love and infect them with the uncanny.

I didn’t have big ambitions for NOS4A2 … I just wanted to scare the hell out of people for a few hundred pages and give them a good little escape from the humdrum. I had this idea for a story about a car that runs on human souls instead of gasoline. The driver, Charlie Manx, has cruised the American backroads for almost a century, collecting children, harvesting their spirits, and abandoning the hollowed-out monsters that remain in a terrifying otherworld called Christmasland. In Christmasland, every day is Christmas Day, unhappiness is against the law … and the cheerful flocks of soulless kids entertain themselves with lively games of scissors-for-the-drifter and bite-the-smallest.

Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

My Dracula of the Interstates has had it easy for almost a hundred years. But all that changes when he runs afoul of a young woman named Vic McQueen. Vic has an impossible gift and a wicked ride of her own. When she’s on her battered old dirtbike, she can find her way to whatever she’s looking for: a lost bracelet, a missing woman, a friend in need. Charlie Manx is every parent’s worst nightmare — but Vic McQueen is his. They clash and clash again, in a series of reality-bending confrontations that turn the roads into red highways.

Ashleigh Cummings as Vic McQueen, Darby Camp as Haley Smith – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Dana Starbard/AMC

NOS4A2 is Vic’s story: that of a young woman, born and raised in hardscrabble Haverhill, Massachusetts, with all the grit that comes of an upbringing by a loving yet violent father and a hard but caring mother. Her imagination opens her to the dizzying possibilities of the occult; her ability to see the best in others makes her an invaluable friend; and her raw courage makes her a foe to reckon with. She was a good travelling companion for me, over the years I was writing the book.

'NOS4A2':
AMC

Now it’s your turn to take a ride with Vic… and with Charlie. I’m delighted (and dazzled) by the work Ashleigh Cummings, Jami O’Brien, Zachery Quinto and the entire AMC crew have done across the ten episodes of season one. Together, they’ve peeled the characters off the page and brought them to full, frightening life, for a heart-rending conflict that’s like no other horror show. What a thrill.

I hope you love it. I know I do. For me, every single episode has been like a slice of Christmas come early.

Best,

Joe Hill

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The supernatural horror series NOS4A2, based on Hill’s bestselling novel of the same name, tells the story of Charlie Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children then deposits what remains of them into “Christmasland” – an icy, twisted Christmas village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Manx finds his whole world threatened when a young woman in New England discovers she has a dangerous gift.

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Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

Quinto’s Charlie Manx is a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland – an icy, twisted Christmas village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Manx finds his whole world threatened when a young woman in New England (Cummings) discovers she has a dangerous gift.

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AMC

Cummings’ Vic McQueen is a young, working-class artist whose creativity awakens a supernatural ability to track Manx (Quinto). What Vic lacks in social confidence, she makes up for in courage, humor, and tough-as-nails grit. She strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.

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Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Chris McQueen, Jamie Neumann as Tiffany Jones – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

Along with Quinto and Cummings, NOS4A2 also stars Olafur Darri Olafsson (Lady Dynamite) as Bing Partridge, Virginia Kull (The Looming Tower) as Linda McQueen, Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Punisher) as Chris McQueen, Jahkara Smith (aka Sailor J) as Maggie Leigh, and Ashley Romans (Shameless) as Det. Tabitha Hutter. Produced by AMC Studios in association with Tornante Television, NOS4A2 is executive produced by Hill, Tornante Television’s  Lauren Corrao, and series creator/showrunner Jami O’Brien (Fear The Walking Dead, Hell On Wheels). Emmy nominee Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale) directs the first two episodes of the 10-episode series.

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JJ Smith as Maggie Leigh – NOS4A2 _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Dana Starbard/AMC

AMC’s NOS4A2 premieres Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT – following the fifth season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead.

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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