The first season of Castle Rock on Hulu was a fun treat for Constant Readers of Stephen King. Even though the series had Easter eggs galore of his properties, including the fictional Maine town of the series namesake, there was only one real character from one of his works. With the return of Sheriff Alan Pangborn, the protagonist in two of his previous works, the first season felt left the unofficial sequel to Needful Things as the story was completely original with no consultation from the man himself. If the news today is any indication of where the second season for the hit series is headed, things may feel more tied to King works directly than before.
Sissy Spacek was featured as one of the series leads, which was a nod to her work from the debut novel “Carrie” from King, but she was an entirely new character. However, season 2 will feature one of the most famous of his villains ever created in the form of Annie Wilkes from “Misery” and the series will stick to a theme from that novel of Annie’s time working at the hospital prior to her time a Paul’s “number one fan.” This is a role known to casual audiences as Kathy Bates Oscar-winning performance in Rob Reiner’s 1990 film adaptation. Picking up the ax, or sledgehammer if they’re tying it to the movie over the book, will be Lizzy Caplan (Freaks And Geeks, Cloverfield) and she will be joined by Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, Triple Frontier) who is portraying yet another classic King character in John “Ace” Merrill. Ace is mostly known by non-Constant Readers as the legendary bully of Castle Rock in another Reiner adaptation, “Stand By Me,” which was based on the King novella “The Body.”
Other big additions are Tim Robbins, who will not be portraying Andy from “Shawshank Redemption,” but Reginald “Pop” Merrill from the King short story “The Sun Dog.” He is also the uncle to Ace and has relations to characters in the King novel “The Tommyknockers.” Confused yet? Stephen King was doing the shared universe thing long before the MCU made it cool, you guys.
As the resident Constant Reader of GVN, my opinion of the first season of Castle Rock was a mixed bag. Like some of King’s best books, the build up was amazing and the climax was more of a whimper than a bang. The cast was terrific and the concept was engrossing, but the finale left everyone scratching their heads and saying “that’s it?” Also, the one foot in, one foot out with King references was something I was lukewarm on. I wanted the show to either embrace it and use multiple characters and cross some of these series over (who doesn’t want to see Pennywise and Church the cat in a buddy comedy?) or don’t. The constant nudging in the ribs to say “hey, remember that book? It was pretty good, huh?” didn’t really give me what I was looking for. With season 2, it looks like they might be realizing what kind of properties they have their hands on.
There is no release date for season 2 of Castle Rock on Hulu, but it is expected to be summer of 2019.
Source: Revenge of the Fans