Stephen King - Castle Rock on Hulu
Another Generation - Still in Vogue
Stephen King doesn’t need to ever write another word to continue to dominate the various screens, as with his depth of titles, he has infected many generations with nostalgia and mythologies from his fictional small towns in Maine. How many times will they remake his works? With subscription sites like Netflix around, one has to imagine that everything has another life in the waiting. Currently, Stephen King has twenty-two projects listed on imdb that are either announced, or in some stage of production. Currently he has the Dark Tower on the way out of the theater, with a new rendition of It on its way into the theater.
To be clear, this is not a complaint. I would love to see Salem’s Lot as a Netflix series. I would love to see an updated version of The Stand (Which may happen - as it has been announced that Josh Boone, the Director of The Fault in Our Stars, will be writing and directing The Stand as his next project.) Maximum Overdrive is begging for a remake. And The Dark Tower - it just came out, and I already want someone (more qualified) to remake it.
Of all the titles out there, and all the possibilities, the one that is most exciting is Castle Rock. We’ve seen a number of these projects gone wrong, but with the correct writers and creatives, this Steven King multiverse, with JJ Abrams and Bad Robot on board, can be one of the best series in years. If you haven’t heard of Castle Rock, it is series set to be released on Hulu that will weave together various stories with iconic characters from a number of Steven King’s novels and stories.
Production has started in July 2017 in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The project was developed by Manhattan creators, Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason. If Manhattan is any indication of what we can expect, I think we will be in for a treat. For those who have read a number of Stephen King’s works, you know that Castle Rock is a quaint, fictional, small town in Maine, where the horrors in the shadows and beneath the streets lie in sharp juxtaposition to the smiling faces and friendly waitresses. Looking at tone and authenticity captured in Manhattan’s 1943 Los Alamos, New Mexico, I think the creators will equally handle the delicate tone needed to make Castle Rock work.
There is much we can assume about tone and character, but limited digging we can do on the specifics of the episode to episode story arcs. If we are to use imdb as an indicator, Melanie Lynskey is listed to play Molly Strand, and appears in all ten episodes. All of the other actors, any recognizable names, are all listed to appear in one episode. Scott Glenn appears as Alan Pangborn from The Dark Half. Bill Skarsgard appears as Pennyworth, who he also plays in the 2017 It. What can this Molly Strand be up to? A realtor appearing in ten episodes, with another handful of recognizable characters playing recognizable characters, each appearing in a single episode?
All the signs point to a solid show. Hopefully something up to par with The Shining, Misery, the 1976 Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, or Stand by Me. Some of the best movies of the last few decades have been from the pen of Stephen Kings, as have some of the worst from the last few decades. Regardless of what side of the fence Castle Rock sits on, I will be there for all ten episodes. If this turns out to be more along the lines of Misery, versus some disaster like Under the Dome, Hulu can also receive a huge boost in coolness and popularity. Here’s to hoping Hulu got it right!
Castle Rock teaser from Bad Robot
Melanie Lynskey as Molly Strand
*To be fair, I never got past the second episode of Under the Dome. It is possible that the quality of the show improved, but there were very poor adaptations of the characters from the onset. One of Stephen Kings greatest assets is his ability to create normal people and to then throw them into a nightmare. The creators of Under the Dome missed the key ingredient from the first scene.