‘Castle Rock’ renewed for second season

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    Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliOne of the two 15,000-square-foot brick buildings belonging to Gary H. Moise, owner of the Orange Trading Co. on South Main Street, was on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the site of filming for "Castle Rock," an upcoming Hulu series based on the works of horror writer Stephen King.

Staff Writer
Published: 8/15/2018 7:35:04 PM

ORANGE — A post on the “Castle Rock” official Twitter page this week showed actor Bill Skarsgård standing in a dirty room with graffiti-covered walls. Above him, “SEASON 2” is written in black lettering.

The first season of Hulu’s original series hasn’t finished yet, but there’s one big clue that people are watching, and executives of the online streaming service are pleased to say the show has been renewed for a second season.

The 10 episodes of “Castle Rock” — set in the eponymous Maine town of the Stephen King mythos — was filmed in Orange and Devens throughout last summer and then sporadically until January.

Excited to see their town transformed into the place where famous Stephen King books like “Cujo” and “The Dark Half” are set, Orange residents piled into viewing parties at places like Witty’s Funeral Home for the show’s premiere. But while residents, business owners and town officials have hoped the show would come back, there was no official word “Castle Rock” would be renewed until Tuesday.

“Nothing stays dead in this town. #CastleRock will return for Season 2,” the Twitter post reads.

The only other information Hulu — a subscription video-on-demand service — has released about Season 2 came in a link on the Hulu website to an article by the Hollywood Reporter, for which Dustin Thomason, “Castle Rock” executive producer, gave some brief comments.

It is unknown when the second season might be filmed or released or whether or not it will be filmed in Orange again. Production team member Joseph Stargensky recalled the team thinking, “This is Castle Rock right here,” upon finding the eastern Franklin County town.

It is also unknown whether the same actors, like Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey and André Holland, will appear in Season 2. Thomason told the Hollywood Reporter that “each season is going to be its own self-contained story: beginning, middle and end,” in an anthology format.

While no numbers have been released publicly, Hulu also told the Hollywood Reporter that “Castle Rock” was the most successful first-season launch for an original Hulu show on the day of its July 25 premiere, both in terms of viewership and reach, and the show also had the highest “view-through” rates for a Hulu original in its first two weeks.

According to Adrienne Bedaw, Orange’s community development administrator, her office acted as a bridge between the town and “Castle Rock” during filming, showing the production team locations in town and letting residents and town officials know when certain areas had to be closed for shooting.

Bedaw said she did not receive word of the renewal before the announcement Wednesday, but was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of “Castle Rock” returning to Orange.

“It’s very exciting,” Bedaw said. “We received very positive feedback from the production team in regards to Orange as a place to film.”

Bedaw said she herself has “binge-watched” the episodes already online, and that “we’d be honored” to have “Castle Rock” return to town for Season 2.

“You can see so much of Orange in it,” Bedaw said. “There’s people we know, seeing them as extras, and places we know.”

Trail Head Outfitters and General Store co-owner Paul Anderson has also said he would love to see filming come back to Orange. Anderson said the production team became close with the community, and the show has prompted him to begin selling “Castle Rock”-themed merchandise, like T-shirts, at Trail Head.

“Castle Rock” has also donated money to Orange twice since filming for Season 1 wrapped up — first, $3,500 to the town’s Fire Department and Trustees of Soldiers’ Memorials, and then another $10,000 to beautify the parks and cemeteries in town, where some filming was done.

“We very much appreciate all the cooperation and help the town and its residents provided us while filming Season 1 of ‘Castle Rock,’” Alex Berard, “Castle Rock” location manager, wrote in a letter to the town back in March.

If anyone is thinking a “Castle Rock” renewal means more filming in town, it might be the Orange Police Department, which posted on Facebook after getting the news Tuesday.

“Good news for the “Castle Rock” fans and those of you that like traffic detours! (Oh come on...it wasn’t that bad!),” they wrote.

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


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