The Road to “Castle Rock” Season 2: EP Dustin Thomason on Going “Misery”, Stephen King Influences & More [INTERVIEW]

With Hulu’s critically-acclaimed Stephen King “shared universe” series Castle Rock having premiered its second season at New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2019 and the series set to debut on October 23 to strong early reviews, executive producer/showrunner Dustin Thomason as well as cast members Lizzy CaplanTim RobbinsElsie FisherPaul Sparks, and Matthew Alan sat down with Bleeding Cool to discuss what fans can expect from their return trip to the (in)famous town.

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First up, Thomason tackles a wide range of topics – from the creative path that led them to going the Annie Wilkes-Misery route and what other King influences he would like in the series’ “sandbox” to whether or not Castle Rock itself is the “ultimate big bad”:

Earlier this month, viewers were treated to a road trip in and around Castle Rock (more below) – with some very interesting references to past King works like Stand By Me, It, Richard Bachman, and more.

SPOILER: Give 207-390-8166 a call… trust us…

Make sure to stick around until the end of your guided tour and you’ll be treated to a preview that has Annie realizing that she may have more than met her match in Castle Rock.

As a follow-up – and thanks to the keen eye and camera work of Bleeding Cool‘s very own Editor-in-Chief Kaitlyn Booth – fans who are able to make it out to NYCC had a chance to get their hands on an official map of the town and surrounding areas:

castle rock
Kaitlyn Booth
castle rock
Kaitlyn Booth
castle rock
Kaitlyn Booth
castle rock
Kaitlyn Booth
Kaitlyn Booth

While Misery mainstay Annie may think the town’s under-estimating her… from what we can see from the following trailer? Annie might not be taking the threat that Castle Rock poses serious enough.

For a town whose history is written in so much blood… that will never do:

In this previously-released clip, Annie and her daughter find themselves doing time in the infamous town after a car accident, where a feud between warring clans comes to a boil – and create an opportunity for Wilkes. But this is Castle Rock – and if we learned one thing from the first season, the town’s agenda always takes precedence.

Castle Rock season 2 stars Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Tim Robbins (Here and Now), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards), Barkhad Abdi (Blade Runner 2049), Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why), John Hoogenakker (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan), Robin Weigert (Big Little Lies, Deadwood), Alison Wright (The Americans), Greg Grunberg (A Star is Born, Heroes), and Sarah Gadon (True Detective).

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The second season of Castle Rock will be a dramatic departure from what was implied during the first season’s finale: Jane Levy‘s Diane “Jackie” Torrance (Jane Levy) appeared to be heading out to her uncle Jack’s old chopping grounds from The Shining. Whether that storyline will be followed up on in any way or if any additional characters from the first season will appear still isn’t known.

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● Caplan’s Annie Wilkes is a nurse and superfan who finds herself and her daughter forced to lay low in Castle Rock as tensions continue to rise…

● Robbins’ Reginald “Pop” Merrill is the patriarch of King’s iconic crime family – dying of cancer and at a reckoning with his family. In King’s universe, Pop was the owner of The Emporium Galorium who loaned money at outrageous rates to his advantage – appearing in the novella “The Sun Dog” and mentioned several times throughout Needful Things

● Sparks’ John “Ace” Merril is Castle Rock’s legendary bully, set to take over his uncle Pop’s businesses – and threatening a fragile peace with nearby Jerusalem’s Lot.

● Fisher’s Joy is Annie’s home-schooled teenage daughter – who is starting to question her mother’s sanity.

● Warsam’s Dr. Nadia Omar is the Harvard-trained Somali medical director of a rural hospital in Jerusalem’s Lot, where his rational and scientific mind will be put to the test.

● Abdi’s Abdi Omar is Nadia’s tough, older brother who leads the charge to build a Somali community center that will deepen the roots of his people in Maine.

● Alan’s Chris Merrill is Pop’s nephew and Ace’s brother, struggling to keep the peace between the Merrills and the Somali community.

● Hoogenakker’s character is a man with a complicated connection to Wilkes.

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● Weigert’s Crysilda Wilkes is Annie’s mother.

● Gadon’s Rita Green is a vengeful woman from Annie’s past.

● Wright’s Valerie is a kind-hearted local who is exploring the town’s evil history.

● Grunberg’s local official Sheriff Boucher just might end up Valerie’s ally as he faces off against a brewing dark force in Castle Rock.

Shaw and Thomason executive produce alongside with Abrams, King, Ben Stephenson, Vince Calandra, and Liz GlotzerCastle Rock hails from Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

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...