‘Castle Rock’ begins filming Season 2

  • Cast and crew members for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” film scenes for its second season, Wednesday afternoon, on South Main Street and throughout downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • On location for the filming of “Castle Rock” in downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Cast and crew members for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” film scenes for its second season in downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A sign for the Castle Rock Police Department. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Camera equipment set up for a scene. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A truck used in a scene. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Many of the signs for Orange businesses were changed for the show. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The film crew’s equipment truck. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Cast and crew members for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” film scenes at night on Wednesday night in downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Lights for nightime filming. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Hosing down the street for a nighttime scene. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • On the scene for a nighttime shoot of “Castle Rock” in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A sign for the Main Streets intersection signs is changed to Watermill Street.  STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 4/29/2019 6:21:06 AM

ORANGE — Trail’s Head was boarded up, Tech 1 Computers’ sign was replaced with one reading “Pavlo’s Wigs,” and an old brick building on South Main Street was the “Castle Rock Police Department.”

For a day, Orange was Castle Rock.

Production of Season 2 of the series “Castle Rock” took hold of Orange’s downtown area Wednesday, with storefronts dressed up and extras lining the sidewalks for most of the day. 

The horror series from Hulu, a subscription on-demand video service, takes place in the fictional Maine town, Castle Rock, from the Stephen King mythos — featured in novels like “Cujo” and “The Dark Half,” and referenced in many of the author’s works.

Season 1 of the anthology series — each season has its own story, beginning, middle and end — was filmed in Orange throughout summer 2017 and then sporadically until January last year, establishing Orange as the titular setting. 

Much of the filming Wednesday involved a pickup truck driving up South Main Street. The black tow truck had an advertisement reading, “Emporium Towing Castle Rock, ME.”

According to location manager Tim Gorman, it is unknown when filming will next take place in Orange, but the team will be back periodically throughout the next five months. 

While Orange is the show’s Castle Rock, nearby Gardner will be transformed into the fictional town “Jerusalem’s Lot” — from King books like “’Salem’s Lot” — for the show. According to Hulu spokeswoman Yasamin Azarakhsh, Season 2 involves a conflict between the neighboring towns.

“Castle Rock” is an original series, but frequently references and includes people and places found in King’s books. According to Azarakhsh, Season 2 will included the character Annie Wilkes, a “nurse and superfan battling to overcome mental health issues.”

Annie Wilkes was featured in the King novel “Misery,” and she imprisons and tortures an author she is obsessed with. Kathy Bates played Annie Wilkes in an Oscar-winning film adaptation of “Misery.”

Season 2 will involve a young Annie Wilkes, played by Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls,” “The Interview,” “Masters of Sex”), who “gets waylaid” in Castle Rock, bringing the conflict between warring clans in Castle Rock and Jerusalem’s Lot to a boiling point, Azarakhsh said. 

Season 2 also stars Tim Robbins — who appeared in another on-screen King adaptation, “The Shawshank Redemption,” as main character Andy Dufresne — as Reginald “Pop” Merrill, a scamming business owner who is dying of cancer and leaving his junk shop to his nephew, John “Ace” Merrill, played by Garrett Hedlund (“Friday Night Lights,” “Troy,” “Tron: Legacy”).

The character Pop appears in “The Sun Dog,” owner of “The Emporium Galorium,” a junk shop — possibly linked to the “Emporium Towing” truck seen in Orange Wendesday.    

Other actors in Season 2 are Yusra Warsama as Dr. Nadia Omar, a Somali medical director of a rural hospital in Jerusalem’s Lot; Barkhad Abdi as Abdi Omar, older brother of Nadia, who leads the charge to build a Somali community center; Elsie Fisher as Joy, Annie Wilkes’ daughter who begins to question her mother’s sanity; and Matthew Alan as Chris Merrill, Pop’s nephew and Ace’s brother, who tries to keep the peace between the Merrills and the Somali community.

The show — executive producers are King, JJ Abrams, Ben Stephenson, Dustin Thomason, Vince Calandra, Sam Shaw, Liz Glotzer — and its production team have consistently praised Orange as location, and last year donated $13,500 to the town for its cemeteries, memorials, parks and fire department.

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268. 


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