No matter where you run or try to hide, you can’t escape the far-reaching grasp of Stephen King's claws. Legions of King fans are almost unnaturally ecstatic to see such a renewed interest in the master's work, which is being reimagined on just about every medium and platform in existence. IT is still luring fans to float into theaters, you can now obsess over The Dark Tower in comic form, and Gerald’s Game has come to terrorize Netflix (with a 1922 movie creeping in later this month).
King's iconic take on deep horrors lurking just beneath the deceptive normalcy of small-town America has inspired everything from books like Summer of Night to Netflix's unexpected smash TV series Stranger Things. His tentacles have reached even further to lure J.J. Abrams (11/22/63) and Bad Robot further in with Castle Rock. Crawling onto Hulu in 2018, the show takes its name from the fictional Maine town (second in infamy only to Derry) from which much of King's multiverse spawns. It may echo in your nightmares from twisted stories such as Cujo, The Dark Half, and Needful Things.
Speaking of Cujo, the cast of Castle Rock needed a great canine actor. That may or may not mean something.
The show, which released its first teaser (above) today at New York Comic Con, will not be based on one specific book, short story, or novella. Creators Sam Shaw and Dustin Thompson said it will instead explore King's multiverse in a way that is an homage to the literal king of all things creepy. There is a vein pulsing through many of his books—think Todash Space and the Macroverse that overshadows The Dark Tower, The Mist, with the titular shapeshifter in IT having emerged from those same shadows.
What the writers were able to tease was that while they "really wanted things to work out for the characters, things seldom work out in Stephen King." The rest of the plot remains shrouded in mystery by Hulu execs.
"Nobody had a good childhood in Stephen King—or in our show," Shaw admitted.
You do glimpse Sissy Spacek (Carrie), Scott Glenn (Daredevil), and Pennywise ITself, Bill Skarsgård (who swears he's not afraid of ghosts), in a bloodstained place where real estate is cheap for a reason and corpses aren't necessarily corpses. There was something about the prison where they filmed the Shawshank scenes that made even Skarsgård feel "something was off." It was also confirmed at the NYCC panel that Scott Glenn will be portraying retired Sheriff Alan Pangborn, who materializes in both The Dark Half and Needful Things (Mr. Gaunt still has us traumatized).
Oh, and because you're positively dying to know IT's next iteration by now, Bill Skarsgård's character is "dark, mysterious and on the fringe, but he's very different from Pennywise."
Leave the lights on when you watch this trailer, which pulses with anticipation and manages to be as unsettling as humanly possible—which is exactly what will make Castle Rock binge-worthy nightmare fodder.