Since its founding, Castle Rock has been a home for the horrific, from serial killers, and a demonic St. Bernard to a tempting devil. It's a town filled with secrets, so it's only fitting that Hulu's upcoming psychological-horror drama series from J.J. Abrams keep that secretive town tradition alive.
Setting up a series of press roundtables and a panel at the Hammerstein Ballroom as a part of this year's New York Comic Con 2017, Castle Rock stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey and Bill Skarsgard (Sissy Spacek was on the panel but not available for interviews); and executive producers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason gave us some personal insights into what it's like working in the world of Stephen King…while trying their best to give us absolutely nothing about the first season. Between the panel and interviews, we were able to get a few tidbits, as well as a great new teaser trailer that gives us a sense of show's overall vibe.
So before we get to the interviews and panel info, let's take a look at what Hulu's Castle Rock has in store for us this season:
Skarsgard portrays a still-unnamed young man with a very unique and specific legal issue that will bring him directly into contact with Holland's Henry. What we learned at the panel and interviews is that his character is a prisoner at Shawshank (yup, that one) and that's where he first meets Henry. We also learned that Skarsgard is currently shooting the first season's fifth episode, so there wasn't much he could tell us about Castle Rock. Skargard does cover if there's a difference between working in horror and other genres; whether or not costumes/effects in a movie like It make his performance, or vice-versa; and that he hopes to get a chance to meet King one day:
Holland plays Henry, a death-row attorney who finds his way back to Castle Rock after several years when he's asked to look into a mysterious crime at Shawshank. Coming off of the success of the Academy Award winning film Moonlight and currently finishing work on Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle In Time, Holland took some time to cover a variety of topics from which King novels he was assigned as "homework;" what he hopes viewers take away from Henry; and why Castle Rock is the best pilot script he's ever read:
Lynskey plays Molly Strand, a woman with a rare health issue who's barely making ends meet as a real estate agent in a town where every home holds a deep, dark secret. Starting her career with Peter Jackson's critically acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures, Lynskey's career has spanned both movies and television…including a previous visit to King's world with the three-part ABC mini-series Rose Red. An admitted avid King reader, Lynskey's caution with her answers fuels speculation that Molly might have a whole lot more going on than we first realized:
Shaw and Thomason are self-confessed King "geeks" who developed the project and are executive producing alongside Abrams, Ben Stephenson, and Liz Glotzer. During the course of the interview, Shaw and Thomason discuss how Castle Rock gave them the opportunity to turn their hours of Castle Rock connect-the-dots in their personal time into a television series; the importance of The Shawshank Redemption on the show's first season; and how a second season of Castle Rock would differ from the first:
Though not much else is known about specific plot points, we do know some things about the characters who will be joining Skarsgard, Holland and Lynskey. Scott Glenn stars as King's beloved retired sheriff Alan Pangborn, who may be needed yet again to maintain the peace in Castle Rock. Sissy Spacek plays Ruth Deaver, Henry's adoptive mother and retired professor whose aging insight into the darker places of Castle Rock's past might hold the key to uncovering the truth. Jane Levy is on-board as Jackie, the death-obsessed self-appointed historian of Castle Rock and (possible) ally for Henry; and Terry O'Quinn is set as Dale Lacy, a pillar of the community in the town of Castle Rock.