The Stephen King adaptation train shows no signs of slowing down next year. After the box office success of IT and the critical acclaim generated by smaller-scale movies like Netflix's recent Gerald's Game, film and TV studios will likely dig even deeper into the horror writer's back catalogue for freaky stories. Or in the case of Castle Rock, Hulu's King-inspired anthology series from producer J.J. Abrams, they'll simply grab inspiration from a range of characters, tropes, and creepy images from the larger King universe and make something new.
As the newly unveiled trailer suggests, the series, which doesn't debut until 2018, will be set in the fictional town of Castle Rock. The Knick's Andre Holland stars as Henry Deaver, an attorney who returns home to deal with… something. The clip doesn't have many plot details but it's got lots of scary stuff: overhead shots of city streets, water running down stairs, missing children posters, dusty piano keys, burning VHS tapes, and, of course, a dog discovering a dead body. (It's King, so there's gotta be a creepy dog.) The sinking car with a Shawshank Department of Correction should also raise some eyebrows.
In addition to Holland, the series also features The Leftover's Scott Glenn as Sheriff Alan Pangborn, who has shown up in a handful of King books, and a handful of actors who have appeared in other famous King adaptations playing other characters. The trailer offers glimpses of Sissy Spacek, who starred in Brian de Palma's Carrie adaptation, and Bill Skarsgård, who brought Pennywise to terrifying life in the new IT.
For King fans, the town of Castle Rock holds special significance. Ever since the publication of his first novel Carrie, King has mined the geography of his home state of Maine for inspiration, but in 1979 he introduced the town of Castle Rock in The Dead Zone and the town has reappeared in his work ever since. As the creators of the show recently clarified at the New York Comic Con, the new series will be an anthology show in the American Horror Story or True Detective mold, meaning each season will feature new characters and a different plot in the small town.
Though it's unclear exactly which of King's 50+ novels and nearly 200 short stories the creator's have the rights to, Castle Rock shouldn't struggle to find new material.