It's hard to deny that audiences have been spoiled this year with the likes of IT, Mr. Mercedes, and 1922. However, die-hard Stephen King fans already know that there are other worlds than these... and many of those are now set to be intertwined within a new TV show called Castle Rock.
J.J. Abrams has teamed up with Hulu to create an original story that revolves around Stephen King characters who live within the borders of this creepy town. While Castle Rock won't adapt any one specific tale from Stephen King's vast bibliography, the first teaser hinted that everything from Cujo to The Shining may be alluded to in Season 1, and now the official trailer confirms it. Join us down at Castle Rock to uncover all of the hidden Easter Eggs and Stephen King references in our first look at the show.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, which is probably why this first trailer for Castle Rock references The Shining so extensively. The blood running down the stairs near the beginning of this promo is reminiscent of the elevator scene from The Shining and those feet in the bathtub sure do remind us of the horrors that lurked behind Room 237.
As if that weren't enough, the far-too-joyful mascot waving at the little girl from a rooftop also harkens back to the freaky animal costumes worn by spirits in #TheShining. After all, who can forget the moment when Wendy Torrance stumbled upon the bear performing fellatio in one of the hotel rooms?
It may not be too surprising to discover that children are being reported as missing in the town of Castle Rock, but that poster of a boy who looks remarkably like Mike Hanlon is almost identical to those seen in the latest adaptation of IT. Then there's also the matter of Bill Skarsgård to consider. Sure, reports thus far suggest that Skarsgård won't be reprising the role of Pennywise on the show, but there's still a chance that Bill may be playing the shape-shifting clown in human form.
While most of our attention was drawn to a masked figure who may be buddies with Jason from Friday the 13th, we couldn't help but notice the equipment that surrounded him too. This reminded us somewhat of the possessed machinery that took center stage in The Mangler, even if this may ultimately turn out to be unrelated.
'Cujo' Or 'Needful Things'?
As we recently saw in Gerald's Game, any dog that appears in a Stephen King adaptation is inevitably compared to Cujo, the rabid dog who terrorized the residents of Castle Rock in his titular book. It's no surprise then that a similar kind of dog appears in the trailer for Castle Rock too, but those quick to name him as Cujo may be mistaken.
After all, Cujo is usually portrayed as a St. Bernard and this particular canine is a Rottweiler, suggesting that the dog in question may in fact belong to Nettie Cobb from Needful Things instead. This would make sense as Sheriff Pangborn also reappears here on the show and Needful Things is the novel where King finally destroyed Castle Rock once and for all.
Aside from that degloving scene in Gerald's Game, the moment when Annie Wilkes hobbles Paul Sheldon in Misery may be the most unsettling scene ever depicted in a Stephen King adaptation. This particular moment has been burned onto the retinas of anyone who saw Kathy Bates in the role, so the image of a woman holding a hammer in the new trailer instantly draws comparisons, and that haircut certainly implies Wilkes may be back on the loose too.
'The Shawshank Redemption'
Prison is perhaps the most horrifying real-life setting of all, which may explain why #StephenKing didn't feel the need to incorporate the supernatural into his beloved story. However, that's all set to change now in Castle Rock as the prison features heavily in this trailer, hinting at a darker interpretation of The Shawshank Redemption in the context of the show.
What's not clear though is how that final shot of the Shawshank Penitentiary car sinking into a lake connects to the story as a whole. Saying that, we wouldn't be surprised if #BillSkarsgård's character is involved somehow as the convict appears to have broken free in earlier parts of the trailer.
Among the falling pianos, burning VHS tapes and white supremacist corpses, it's hard to argue with the voice-over when it suggests that:
"You have no idea what's happening here... do you?"
What we do know though is that the likes of André Holland, Scott Glenn and the original Carrie herself, Sissy Spacek, are uniting in what could be the greatest Stephen King adaptation we've seen yet. Find out for yourself by taking a trip down to #CastleRock when Season 1 hits Hulu in 2018.
Did you spot any Stephen King references that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!