‘Castle Rock’ returning to film Sunday

  • Cast and crew members for “Castle Rock.” STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The “Castle Rock” police department in downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 8/20/2019 8:36:49 PM

ORANGE — Things could get spooky this weekend, with the Orange Police Department announcing downtown traffic detours to allow filming for “Castle Rock.”

The original horror-suspense series, “Castle Rock,” from Hulu — a subscription on-demand video service — will be in Orange on Sunday to shoot scenes for the series’ second season.

According to the Police Department, traffic will be rerouted around Orange center from approximately 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. The South Main Street bridge will be closed during that time.

During the afternoon and evening, the center of town and bridge will reopen, and only North Main Street will be closed from the center of town to Winter Street. The North Main Street closure will be in effect Monday, too, police said.

Hulu does not generally release details on scenes to be filmed, but, according to police, the series will be filming a parade scene in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the fictional town, Castle Rock.

“Castle Rock” is set in the fictional town of the same name from the Stephen King universe — the town has appeared in many of the author’s novels, including “Cujo” and “The Dark Half,” and is referenced in many of King’s other works. The series is an original story in an anthology format — each season has its own plot, beginning to end — but features and alludes to famous characters and places from King’s mythos.

Orange is Castle Rock, the titular setting, and a Hulu spokesman said residents should expect filming for the series periodically throughout the summer. Season 1 was filmed in Orange in 2017 and 2018, premiering last summer.

This summer, several scenes have been filmed in Orange for the second season, including scenes inside the First Universalist Church of Orange on North Main Street and by the bridge on South Main Street, where the fictional “Castle Rock Police Department” has its station. During production days, the town has been made over with props, including fake bus stops and signs for fictional businesses like the community newspaper, “The Castle Rock Call.”

Parts of Season 2 are also being filmed in nearby Gardner, which will be the series’ “Jerusalem’s Lot,” another fictional town featured in King books like “‘Salem’s Lot.” According to a Hulu spokesman, Season 2 involves a conflict between the neighboring towns.

No premiere date has been released for Season 2, which stars Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls,” “The Interview,” “Masters of Sex”); Tim Robbins (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “Mystic River”); Garrett Hedlund (“Friday Night Lights,” “Troy,” “Tron: Legacy”); Paul Sparks (“House of Cards,” “Boardwalk Empire”) and Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade,” “Despicable Me”).

In the upcoming season, the character Annie Wilkes — known from King’s “Misery,” in which she imprisons and tortures her favorite author — is played by Caplan. As a younger Annie Wilkes, prior to the events of “Misery,” she is “waylaid” in Castle Rock, bringing a conflict between people in Castle Rock and Jerusalem’s Lot “to a boil.”

Robbins also plays a character from King’s books. As Reginald “Pop” Merrill, Robbins will portray a terminally ill junk shop owner who is leaving his business to his nephew and town bully, Ace, played by Hedlund.

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. Executive producers include J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason.

The production has repeatedly praised Orange as a film location, and has built a relationship with the town over the last few years, including sending thank you letters and donating $13,500 to the town’s parks, cemeteries and Fire Department.


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