Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, today announced initial casting for its upcoming horror anthology series, Creepshow, based on the iconic 1982 film written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero. Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul), and Tobin Bell (Saw) will star in “Gray Matter,” adapted from King’s short story by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi (The Commuter) and directed by series showrunner Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead).
In “Gray Matter,” Doc (Esposito) and Chief (Bell), two old-timers in a small, dying town, brave a storm to check on Richie, an alcoholic single father, after encountering his terrified son at the local convenience store. The story, first published in 1973, is part of King’s best-selling 1978 collection, Night Shift.
Here’s what Nicotero had to say:
“I feel I’m in great company getting the opportunity to direct a story written by Steve. Between Salem’s Lot, Pet Sematary and The Stand, I’ve always found his stories rich in relatable characters forced into supernatural situations beyond their control—the everyday person’s primal fears. To visualize ‘Gray Matter’ for Creepshow with the help of Adrienne, Giancarlo and Tobin was about as good as it gets for a horror fan from Pittsburgh!”
For Barbeau, “Gray Matter” represents a return to the Creepshow franchise more than 25 years after her unforgettable portrayal of “Billie” in the 1982 segment, “The Crate.” (Barbeau also serves as the host of the Shudder Original podcast, She Kills.)
“I was thrilled when Greg asked me to join the Creepshow world once again,” said Barbeau. “And then working with Tobin and Giancarlo, with Greg as our director, well, that was the icing on the cake — no, not that cake. Oh, you know what I mean.”
The DNA of the original movie is firmly embedded in the new series: In addition to Barbeau and King’s return to the franchise, fans will recall that writer Joe Hill (who has also contributed a story this season) played comic-book-loving “Billy” in the film’s wrap-around segments. John Harrison, who was 1st Assistant Director on 1982’s Creepshow and composed its iconic theme, is back to direct several segments of the series. And executive producer Nicotero visited the first film’s set as a teenager, and contributed make-up effects to its 1987 follow-up, Creepshow 2.
With “Gray Matter,” Shudder has confirmed eight of the twelve segments that will make up Creepshow’s six-episode season. Previously announced segments include “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain” by Hill, “House of the Head” by Josh Malerman (Bird Box), “The Companion” by Joe Lansdale, “The Man in the Suitcase” by Christopher Buehlman, “All Hallows Eve” by Bruce Jones, “Night of the Paw” by John Esposito, and “Bad Wolf Down” by Rob Schrab. Additional titles and casting will be announced soon. The series is scheduled to wrap production later this week in Atlanta, GA.
Shudder’s Creepshow is produced by the Cartel with Monster Agency Productions, Taurus Entertainment, and Striker Entertainment: Stan Spry, Jeff Holland, and Eric Woods are executive producers for the Cartel; Nicotero and Brian Witten are executive producers for Monster Agency Productions; Robert Dudelson, James Dudelson and Jordan Kizwani are executive producers for Taurus Entertainment; Russell Binder is executive producer and Marc Mostman co-executive producer for Striker Entertainment. Creepshow will premiere on Shudder later this year.