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SYFY WIRE Castle Rock

WIRE Buzz: Castle Rock recasts Ace; Black Widow lands co-lead; more

By James Comtois
Paul Sparks

First up in this edition of the WIRE Buzz, Hulu is recasting its Ace Merrill for the second season of Castle Rock, the psychological horror series inspired by the literary world of Stephen King. Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards) has been hired to replace Garrett Hedlund to play the notorious town bully portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland in the Rob Reiner film Stand By Me in 1986.

Per Deadline, which first broke the news, the decision to recast was a creative one made after Hedlund had filmed a few scenes, which Sparks will reshoot.

Sparks (pictured above) will play John “Ace” Merrill, who’s taking over the businesses of his dying uncle, local crime boss Reginald “Pop” Merrill, played by Tim Robbins. This of course threatens the fragile peace established with nearby Jerusalem’s Lot.

Castle Rock’s second season will focus on a growing feud between warring clans when Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan), a nurse struggling to overcome mental health issues, gets waylaid in the eponymous town.

In addition to Sparks, Robbins, and Caplan, Elsie Fisher is also set to star, with Yusra Warsama, Barkhad Abdi, and Matthew Alan cast as series regulars.

No word yet on a drop date for Season 2's debut.

O-T Fagbenle

Meanwhile, Deadline is also reporting that O.T. Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) has joined the cast of Marvel’s Black Widow in a starring role opposite Scarlett Johansson. Fagbenle joins a cast that includes David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, and Florence Pugh.

Though Marvel Studios is keeping mum about plot details (and what role Fagbenle will play), the long-awaited solo Black Widow film will be an origin story for Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff, and how she goes from being a KGB spy assassin to an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Australian director Cate Shortland will helm the film. Although Black Widow does not yet have an official release date, production is set to start shooting this June in London.

While we wait, we can see Black Widow in action in Marvel’s upcoming Avengers: Endgame, which assembles into theaters April 26.

And finally, Ken Jeong and Kiersey Clemons have joined the cast of Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo film, Scoob, Deadline has revealed.

Jeong will serve as the voice of Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, a robot dog. Clemons will voice Dee Dee Sykes, one of Captain Caveman’s “Teen Angels.”

Scoob boasts a cast that includes Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez, Tracy Morgan, Frank Welker, Zac Efron, and Amanda Seyfried.

Art and animation veteran Tony Cervone is directing, with Chris Columbus (Harry Potter) producing.

Scoob opens May 15, 2020.