The creators of Hulu’s new Stephen King-inspired horror series Castle Rock sat down at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 to offer some insight into the story. Or at least, as much insight as they possibly could without spoiling too much. One thing creators Dustin Thomason and Sam Shaw could confirm: Castle Rock will be an anthology series, with each new season covering not just a different story, but a different type of Stephen King story
Castle Rock is a mystery box series. How could it not be – it has J.J. Abrams listed as an executive producer. As such, it’s hard to talk about the first season of the show without giving too much away. However, the future is up for grabs. Especially because future seasons will jut off into new directions and tell completely new stories. Castle Rock will follow the anthology story method, a la American Horror Story and the recent AMC show The Terror. Each new season will have new characters and new stories set within Stephen King’s cursed town.
Not only will the stories be different, but the type of story will wildly change as well. Season 1 of Castle Rock has supernatural elements, but it’s also a bit more grounded compared to more fantastical King works like It. This was by design – creators Dustin Thomason and Sam Shaw had a very particular type of King story they wanted to tell for season 1. But for season 2 and beyond, a whole new brand of Stephen King story could take shape.
“Our plan was always to tell a series of self contained stories,” Shaw said at Comic-Con. “[And to] approach each season as an unwritten Stephen King novel. [King is like] a genre unto himself…and there are seven or eight well defined sub-genres [as well]. We’ve always loved the stories dealing with crime and punishment, and prisons, and Stephen King sort of grappling with real-world monsters – and what we do with them, and where we put them, how we treat them, and whether that makes us monsters. So this season is written very much in the shadow of [The Shawshank Redemption] and The Green Mile, and some of the stories that deal with incarceration.”
If you were hoping for more all-out-supernatural mayhem from Castle Rock, don’t be discouraged. That’s what future seasons are for! “There are just great bangin’ monster stories,” Shaw said. “Or are there are these kind of cosmic stories about the struggle between good and evil. And part of the pleasure of trying to approach this season was the thought that we’d be judicious and tell one kind of a story, and hope to have the latitude to come back in a future season and tell a great monster story set in 1974…a different kind of story.”
I’ve enjoyed the first four episodes of Castle Rock I’ve seen, but I won’t lie: I’m much more interested in the so-called “bangin’ monster stories”, so I look forward to the seasons to come.
Castle Rock premieres on Hulu July 25, 2018.
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