With only a little more than two weeks to go before its June 2nd premiere, AMC is taking viewers behind the scenes of its supernatural fantasy-horror adaptation of NOS4A2 – starring Ashleigh Cummings and Zachary Quinto, and with Emmy-nominee Kari Skogland (The Handmaid's Tale) directing the first two episodes of the 10-episode series. What makes this one a little different – and a lot more special? Author and executive producer Joe Hill discusses the joys of seeing the characters and locations from his bestselling novel come to life before his – and soon to be our – eyes:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
NOS4A2 introduces Vic McQueen (Cummings), a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx (Quinto). Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland – a twisted place of Manx's imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims – without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.
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.
Cummings' Vic McQueen is a young, working-class artist whose creativity awakens a supernatural ability to track Manx. 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.
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 discovers she has a dangerous gift.
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.
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.