Action: Crews film ‘Castle Rock’ Season 2 scenes

  • Filming for “Castle Rock” Season 2 took place in downtown Orange Friday, with street signs and storefronts being made over for the production, including the addition of a fictional “Watermill Street” sign. STAFF PHOTO/ DAVID MCLELLAN

  • Filming for “Castle Rock” Season 2 took place in downtown Orange Friday, with street signs and store fronts being made over for the production, including the addition of a sign for the fictional newspaper “The Castle Rock Call.” STAFF PHOTO/ DAVID McLELLAN

Staff Writer
Published: 6/7/2019 11:02:57 PM
Modified: 6/7/2019 11:02:45 PM

ORANGE — Those driving down “Watermill Street” Friday would have passed “The Castle Rock Call” — “Community news since 1936” — “Castle Rock Police Department” and “The Mellow Tiger Bar.”

On any other day, they would have been driving down South Main Street, not “Watermill Street,” and would have seen more familiar sights like Tech 1 Computers, but storefronts and street signs were made over for filming of “Castle Rock” Season 2.

Friday was the second day in a row of filming the original horror series from Hulu — a subscription on-demand video service — in downtown Orange. Most of the afternoon, crews were inside the First Universalist Church of Orange filming scenes. Parking was blocked off from School Street on North Main Street down to the East and West River Streets intersection on South Main Street.

The “Castle Rock” production has been in Orange twice in the last two months — filming vehicles driving down the street and scenes at the First Universalist Church both this week and back in April.

It is unknown when crews will next be filming in town, but, according to location manager Tim Gordon, residents should expect periodic filming over the next five months. A premiere date for Season 2 has not been set.

“Castle Rock” is a suspense-horror series paying homage to the works of Stephen King, referencing and including characters and places from a variety of King’s book. The town Castle Rock itself is a fictional Maine town from King books like “Cujo” and “The Dark Half” and mentioned in many others. Orange is the series’ Castle Rock, the central, titular setting, and Season 1 was filmed throughout town in 2017 and 2018, premiering last summer.

The series takes an anthology format, with each season having a new plot and characters with its own beginning, middle and end. Season 2, a Hulu spokeswoman told the Greenfield Recorder, will be linked to King’s novel “Misery,” about an obsessive and deranged superfan who imprisons and tortures her favorite author. The deranged character from “Misery,” Annie Wilkes, was played by Kathy Bates in a 1990 film adaptation of the novel.

But while “Castle Rock” as a series takes inspiration from King, it is an original story and Season 2 will not be a direct adaptation of “Misery.” Rather, Season 2 will be, at least in part, about a younger Annie Wilkes, played by Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls,” “The Interview,” “Masters of Sex”) who is beginning to go insane.

Season 2 will also feature the character Reginald “Pop” Merrill from King’s “The Sun Dog.” Pop is a shady business owner who, in Season 2 of “Castle Rock,” is terminally ill and planning to leave his junk shop to his nephew and local bully John “Ace” Merrill.

Pop will be played by Tim Robbins, who is no stranger to on-screen King adaptations having played main character Andy Dufresne in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption.” Ace will be played by Garrett Hedlund (“Friday Night Lights,” “Troy,” “Tron: Legacy”).

According to a Hulu statement, while Orange is Castle Rock, nearby Gardner will be the fictional King town of Jerusalem’s Lot — from books like “‘Salem’s Lot” — and a conflict develops between different factions in each of the two fictional towns.

That conflict, according to Hulu, “comes to a boil” when Annie Wilkes “gets waylaid” in Castle Rock.

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 series’ production team has made a point of building a relationship with the town of Orange, calling the town a “lovely” place to film and sending thank you letters and money to the town after filming Season 1. The series donated a total of $13,500 last year to Orange’s parks, cemeteries and Fire Department.

Reach David McLellan at or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.


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