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 debuting its first three episodes this week to strong early reviews (with Bleeding Cool's review coming this week), executive producer/showrunner Dustin Thomason as well as cast members Lizzy Caplan, Tim Robbins, Elsie Fisher, Paul Sparks, and Matthew Alan sat down with Bleeding Cool to discuss what fans can expect from their return trip to the (in)famous town.
Following up on Monday's conversation with Thomason, Tuesday's sit down Sparks and Alan, and Wednesday's one-on-one with Robbins, Caplan and Fisher were kind enough to share their thoughts on a wide range of topics. From Annie and Joy's mother/daughter dynamic and Annie being seen as a sympathetic character to thoughts on the town itself being the series "big bad", we do our best to get as many spoilers from the two as we can.
On that one end? We fail miserably – but have a ton of fun trying – and make sure to stay for the entire conversation: Caplan and Fisher wrap up our "Greatest Interview Ever"* by sharing their recommendations on what they're watching, reading, and/or listening to when they're not creeping the hell out of us on screen.
*[Ed. Note: As a man of my word, I'm keeping my promise to Caplan by including Fisher's "never wrong" compliment of her during our interview in the headline – and to both Caplan and Fisher by making sure our conversation received the title of "Greatest Interview Ever." But let me clear – the Trump/Sharpie joke? It cut. It cut deep. Just sayin'. lol :-) ]
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:
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).
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.
● 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.
● 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.
● 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 Glotzer. Castle Rock hails from Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.