Marvel may have built a cinematic universe that's unprecedented in Hollywood, but that's nothing compared to the dimension-spanning world that Stephen King has created in his books. Over the span of 55 novels released across 44 years, King has crafted an intricate mythology tied together by a thousand invisible strings, some of which are still being discovered years after these novels were first published.
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#StephenKing's shared universe may cross entire dimensions of time and space, but at its core beats the heart of Castle Rock, a town that houses a huge number of the writer's most iconic characters, including Cujo and and the children from The Body (Stand By Me).
Those who lamented Castle Rock's destruction in the novel Needful Things should mourn no longer, as nothing stays dead for long in the world of #horror. Fans will soon be able to revisit the eerie town in a brand new #TV show that will unite the very best of King's twisted creations on Hulu.
Find out exactly who could appear on Hulu's Castle Rock in the teaser trailer below:
What Will 'Castle Rock' Be About?
If you thought Hulu's previous collaboration with Stephen King was a real head-f**k, you've seen nothing yet. James Franco's mini-series, 11.22.63, may have freely played around with the concept of time, but that's nothing compared to what Castle Rock has in store for us over the first ten episodes.
Set in Stephen King's legendary multiverse, the first official press release for Castle Rock reveals that the show will combine...
“...the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a first-of-its-kind reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”
While Castle Rock is described here as an "original story", the trailer makes it clear that the show will incorporate a number of iconic characters and settings from King's most acclaimed work, weaving these separate stories into one cohesive arc.
During an interview with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show”, J.J. Abrams confirmed that Castle Rock will weave in various characters from King's most iconic novels, explaining that;
"Castle Rock is this town that [King] made famous in all these different books; and these two two writers, Dustin Thomason and Sam Shaw, came up with this incredibly cool, terrifying, weird, funny idea of a series, new story, that takes place in this town. And all of these characters from Stephen King’s books sort of are peripherally involved.
We pitched it to Stephen King. He went nuts for it."
It seems then that Castle Rock will contain new plots that will allude to King's books in passing, rather than hone in specifically on one of the author's most iconic tales. From all accounts, it seems as though Hulu's chilling foray into King's mind could even rival American Horror Story if handled right. The question now, though, is: which horrific characters will we actually see on the show?
Every Character And Location Revealed In The 'Castle Rock' Trailer
Featuring quotes from some of King's darkest creations, the first teaser trailer for Castle Rock whizzes through dozens of references from the author's expansive body of work, many of which are hard to keep up with. Fortunately for you, we hammered that pause button in order to collect every single easter egg that we could spot in the promo, dividing them into four distinct categories:
- Salem's Lot
- The Night Flier
- Needful Things
- The Green Mile
- Low Men In Yellow Coats
- The Willow Tiger (Here There Be Tygers?)
- Shawshank State Prison (The Shawshank Redemption)
- Little Tall Island (Dolores Claiborne, Home Delivery, Storm of the Century)
- Juniper Hill Asylum (It, Insomnia, Needful Things, Gerald's Game, The Sun Dog, The Tommyknockers, Bag of Bones, 11/22/63 & The Dark Half)
- The Marsten House (Salem's Lot)
- The Barrens (It)
- Silver Creek (Misery)
- Derry, Maine (Most of King's books are set here)
- You Sew And Sew (Shop in Needful Things)
- Misery's Child (Fictional story in Misery)
- Fast Cars (Fictional story in Misery)
- The Inside View (Tabloid magazine in The Dead Zone, The Night Flier & Home Delivery)
- Richard Bachman (Author Pseudonym)
- Richard Vickers (Creepshow movie)
- Duddits Cavell (Dreamcatcher)
- Jonesy (Dreamcatcher)
- Mr Gray (Dreamcatcher)
- Joe St George (Dolores Claiborne)
- Selena St George (Dolores Claiborne)
- Vera Donovan (Dolores Claiborne)
- Liz Garfield (Hearts In Atlantis)
- Peter Riley (Hearts In Atlantis)
- Ben Hanscom (It)
- Georgie Denbrough (It)
- Henry Bowers (It)
- Pennywise (It)
- Stan Uris (It)
- The Loser's Club (It)
- Annie Wilkes (Misery)
- Buster (Misery)
- Paul Sheldon (Misery)
- Leland Gaunt (Needful Things)
- Wilma Jerzyck (Needful Things)
- Ben Mears (Salem's Lot)
- Father Callahan (Salem's Lot)
- Kurt Barlow (Salem's Lot)
- Mark Petrie (Salem's Lot)
- Norris Ridgewick (The Dark Half, Needful Things, Gerald's Game, Bag of Bones & Lisey's Story)
- Sheriff Alan Pangborn (The Dark Half, The Sun Dog & Needful Things)
- Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile)
- John Coffey (The Green Mile)
- Mr Jingles (The Green Mile)
- Paul Edgecombe (The Green Mile)
- Percy Wetmore (The Green Mile)
- Richard Dees (The Night Flier)
- Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)
- Bogs Diamond (The Shawshank Redemption)
- Warden Heywood (The Shawshank Redemption)
- Danny Torrance (The Shining)
- Delbert Grady (The Shining)
- Dick Hallorann (The Shining)
- Horace M Derwent (The Shining)
- Jack Torrance (The Shining)
- Stuart Ullman (The Shining)
- Ronnie Killian (Under The Dome)
Once you've finished comprehending how exhaustive that list is, there's one particular thing that may stand out more than a demonic clown in the sewers — many of the characters mentioned in the trailer never visited Castle Rock in the original source material.
Pennywise and his friends floated under the town of Derry, Danny Torrance pedaled around the Overlook Hotel in Colorado, and Paul Sheldon's legs were hobbled miles away from Castle Rock in the story of Misery.
Does this mean that these characters will visit Castle Rock at some point, or are we taking this trailer too literally? From what we've seen so far, those pulsing nerves suggest that there's an unseen connection between each of these references, implying that their relationships with one another will be explored more when the show finally airs.
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Stephen King has already connected each of his novels through the Dark Tower series, positioning this landmark as the nexus of his multiverse, so could the town of Castle Rock play a similar role for these stories on TV?
Produced by J.J. Abrams, one of the masterminds behind Westworld, Stephen King's next foray into TV could be the most exciting project he's worked on yet. Whatever happens, we just hope that King goes full meta and appears on Castle Rock as his pseudonym, Richard Bachman, whose name coincidentally appears in the mysterious trailer. Hell, Hulu should throw in Molly a.k.a. The Thing of Evil while they're at it, but then they run the risk of making Castle Rock too scary for even the most diehard fans of King's work.
Did we spot every single easter egg and reference in the Castle Rock trailer? Which Stephen King stories would you like to see adapted in the Hulu show first? Let us know in the comments section below!
The Stephen King Shared Universe flow chart is available to see and purchase here.