Castle Rock Andre Holland Bill Skarsgard

Here's why Castle Rock wasn't set during the golden age of Stephen King: Video exclusive

Contributed by
Oct 12, 2018

When it was announced that Hulu and J.J. Abrams were working on a TV series based upon the iconic works of Stephen King, many felt that the project was a no-brainer.

After all, we're currently experiencing a King renaissance of sorts, with the horror writer's influence and adaptations seemingly omnipresent. Not only are the horror writer's books, novellas, and short stories being turned into films and shows at a steady rate, but his very style and method of storytelling have manifested themselves in other pop culture offerings, such as Stranger Things.

Of course, it also has to do with pop culture's current fascination with and nostalgia for the 1980s, the decade during which King wrote some of his most celebrated tomes, like It, Cujo, and The Gunslinger. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and if you're not careful, you can get lost in the wistfulness for long-lost memories, which is why Castle Rock was not set during the halcyon days of Stephen King.

In this exclusive featurette from the home-video release of Season 1, co-creator and executive producer Sam Shaw explains that keeping the show in a modern setting was a conscious decision from the very beginning, as memory plays a massive part in the story for almost all of the characters, and specifically for Henry Deaver (André Holland) and his mother, Ruth (Sissy Spacek).

"It's why we chose not to set the show in, say, 1985, when some of the great Castle Rock novels were being written," Shaw says. "[In the '80s,] you had this sort of more white picket fence Castle Rock. Instead, [we wanted] to look at a Castle Rock that was boarded up, to look at a Castle Rock where the younger population had basically fled. That was something that was interesting to us, to kind of think about a place that was a little bit stuck in its own past and the underbelly of that nostalgia."

Castle Rock Season 1 arrives on digital Oct. 15 and on 4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD Jan. 8.

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