We’ve known for months now that Hulu’s Castle Rock would return, but we didn’t know how. Now, we have all the details, and once again, showrunners Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason have found a new story to tell within the world of Stephen King.
According to Deadline, the second season will follow Misery villain Annie Wilkes as she stumbles into the titular town, where a warring feud is going down involving the legendary Merrill family and a fragile piece of land that happens to cut into, ahem, Jerusalem’s Lot.
As expected, the second season features another A-list cast in Lizzy Caplan as Wilkes, Tim Robbins as Reginald “Pop” Merrill, Garrett Hedlund as John “Ace” Merril, Elsie Fischer as Wilkes’ home-schooled teenage daughter Joy, Yusra Warsama as Dr. Nadia Omar in nearby ‘Salem’s Lot, Barkhad Abdi as Omar’s brother Abdi, and Matthew Alan as Ace’s brother Chris.
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Constant Readers will no doubt rejoice at a return to ‘Salem’s Lot, the vampiric town that served as the location of King’s titular sophomore novel and which was teased in the show’s first season, but very few probably expected to see Wilkes again. Aside from a passing mention to Eddie Kaspbrak’s family in nearby Derry, Maine, there are very few references to Maine at all in Misery.
Then again, this is Castle Rock, and anything goes as last season proved. Even so, Shaw and Thomason admittedly kept a short leash on the explicit references with Scott Glenn’s Alan Pangborn and the Shawshank Prison really being the only pivotal callbacks. Everything else, like Jackie Torrance and the loose references to “The Body”, felt more like Easter Eggs. So, it’ll be intriguing to see them go all in on the lore.
On the casting front, it’s clever that they’re continuing to handpick names that have previously starred in King adaptations. Similar to Sissy Spacek’s inclusion last season, Robbins is an obvious standout among the bunch. Yet it’s also a peculiar one given that the first season made it clear that the film adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption, which he starred and led in, is canon. Oh well.
Currently, there’s no release date set, though it’s unlikely 2019 will be in the cards this late in the year. To keep tabs, subscribe to The Losers’ Club, our weekly Stephen King podcast that has been there with the series from the very beginning, all the way to the original 2017 announcement. In fact, last year, they covered each episode and even threw an accompanying film festival.
Rest assured, they’ll be in Castle Rock again.