Between all the different dead bodies, powerful monsters, and ancient mysteries that have come out of the mind of Stephen King, there has been one personal consistency that the author has often returned to over the years. King has a penchant for setting or connecting many of his tales, including It, The Shawshank Redemption, and Misery, through his home state of Maine. This tendency has also spilled over to adaptations of his work. For Silver Bullet, the adaptation of his novelette of the same name, the filmmakers shot in North Carolina but kept the setting as Maine, which resulted in more than a few sightings of North Carolina license plates and quite a lot of Carolina accents.
Maine is an important place for King in reality and Castle Rock, the fictional town where Needful Things and other novels or stories were set, is an important place for him as an author. Thus, it makes total sense that his recently announced anthology series is both titled Castle Rock and features individual episodes set in the town. The series re-teams King with two recent collaborators – J.J. Abrams and Hulu – following the work they did together on the mildly entertaining 11.22.63. Beyond that, not much is known and to be fair, not many people knew about this before yesterday, as is the Abrams way.
Regardless of how all of this comes together, an anthology series seems like just the ticket for King and Hulu. One of the biggest cult shows of the moment is Black Mirror and part of its popularity stems from the fact that each episode offers a new cast, new ideas, and new directors who have similar thematic interests but rarely repeat themselves when making their points. Considering the excess of great, young directors and actors that are currently on the scene and incapable of securing a gig with the big studios (or networks), this has the potential to be a showcase for visual and narrative that couldn’t make an entire movie or were to weird for the multiplex. Whether or not that’s the direction Castle Rock will decide to head in is a discussion for another day.
Here’s the first teaser for Castle Rock: