Filming returns for ‘Castle Rock’

  • Cast and crew members at work for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” on South Main Street and throughout downtown Orange Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Crew members get ready to film scenes Thursday for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” on South Main Street and throughout downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A prop for the “Castle Rock” film. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Crew members are on the scene Thursday for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” film in downtown Orange. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Crew members for the Hulu television series “Castle Rock” prep for a scene. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

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

Staff Writer
Published: 6/28/2019 11:51:38 PM

ORANGE — Thursday evening, two teens crossed the bridge over Millers River, stopped briefly, and kissed — right by an old brick building with a sign reading, “Castle Rock Police Department.”

It was one of several scenes for “Castle Rock” Season 2 filmed in town Thursday. Film crews made over the streets to transform Orange into the fictional town of Castle Rock, from the works of author Stephen King.

An old, worn “Castle Rock” bus stop and a sign for a fictional news agency — “The Castle Rock Call - Community news since 1936” — were some of the many props dotting the downtown area.

Traffic was held up during the filming of some downtown scenes — including to allow a bus to drive up at the fake bus stop and to allow the Castle Rock teens to have their romantic rendezvous at the bridge.

“Castle Rock” is an original suspense-horror series from Hulu, a subscription on-demand video service, set in the eponymous Maine town from King novels like “Cujo” and “The Dark Half,” and referenced in many of the author’s other works.

The series takes an anthology format — each season tells its own story, from beginning to end — so those who have seen Season 1 should expect something new. While it is an original work, it includes characters and places from King’s books. Executive producers include J.J. Abrams, Stephen King, Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason.

According to a Hulu spokeswoman, the series’ second season will be linked to the famous King novel “Misery,” which tells the story of Annie Wilkes, a deranged and obsessive fan who imprisons and tortures her favorite author — Kathy Bates played Annie Wilkes in an Oscar-winning performance for the 1990 film adaptation.

In “Castle Rock” Season 2, a younger Annie Wilkes is played by Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls,” “The Interview,” “Masters of Sex”).

“A feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes, Stephen King’s nurse from hell, gets waylaid in Castle Rock,” according to Hulu.

Also starring is Tim Robbins, who was in another on-screen King adaptation, “The Shawshank Redemption,” as main character Andy Dufresne. In “Castle Rock,” Robbins plays Reginald “Pop” Merrill, a scheming business owner who is dying of cancer and leaving his junk shop to his nephew and town bully, John “Ace” Merrill, played by Garrett Hedlund (“Friday Night Lights,” “Troy,” “Tron: Legacy”).

The character “Pop” is from King’s “The Sun Dog,” and owns the junk shop, “The Emporium Galorium.” Earlier scenes for Season 2 filmed in Orange in April featured a tow truck with “Emporium Towing” painted on its side.

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

Season 1 was filmed in Orange throughout summer 2017 and then sporadically until January last year. As the show’s titular setting, Orange will be the site of periodic filming over the next four months, said location manager Tim Gorman.

Hulu has not yet released a premiere date for “Castle Rock” Season 2. The show’s production team has praised Orange as a filming location, and last year donated $13,500 to the town for its cemeteries, memorials, parks and fire department.

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

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