Hulu releases details on ‘Castle Rock’ Season 2

  • Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” which filmed its first season in Orange in 2017, will return to Orange later this year to film Season 2. STAFF PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer 
Published: 3/21/2019 11:26:45 PM

ORANGE — Get ready for some “Misery.”

Season 2 of Hulu’s “Castle Rock” will have ties to Stephen King’s 1987 psychological horror novel, “Misery,” and other King works, while remaining an original story set in the author’s universe. 

A Hulu spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that Season 2 of show, which is set to return to Orange for filming, will feature the character Annie Wilkes from “Misery,” and the show has cast Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls,” “The Interview,” “Masters of Sex”) in the role. 

“Misery” is the story of an author who is imprisoned and tortured by an obsessive fan, Wilkes. Kathy Bates previously played the deranged Wilkes in the 1990 adaptation of “Misery,” winning an Oscar for her performance.

“Castle Rock” Season 2 — like Season 1 — will tell an original story set in the fictional Maine town of the same name, the setting of King’s novels like “Cujo” and “The Dark Half.” “Castle Rock” is an anthology series, with each season telling its own story from beginning to end. While the plots are original, many allusions to King’s novels appear in the form of characters and places.

And it sounds like the Annie Wilkes in “Castle Rock” will have the same traits as the Annie Wilkes in “Misery.” Hulu spokeswoman Yasamin Azarakhsh described the character as a “nurse and superfan battling to overcome mental health issues.”

“A feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Wilkes, King's nurse from hell, gets waylaid in Castle Rock,” Azarakhsh said in a statement about Season 2. 

It is unclear when filming in Orange will begin, but a casting call for the season sought extras for scenes to be filmed during the spring and summer. 

A premiere date for the 10-episode second season has not been released.

However, other details of Season 2 were confirmed Thursday. “Castle Rock” is adding another King town to its geography — this time it’s the town Jerusalem’s Lot, the setting of King’s “’Salem’s Lot,” and referenced in his books, “The Shining,” “Dolores Claiborne” and “Dreamcatcher.”

Another new King reference will be the addition of the character Reginald “Pop” Merrill from “The Sun Dog” and “Needful Things.”

Pop, a scamming business owner, will be played by Tim Robbins. Robbins previously appeared in an on-screen King adaptation as Andy Dufresne, the main character in the 1994 prison drama “The Shawshank Redemption.”

In Season 2, Pop is dying of cancer and his junk shop business is being left to his nephew, John “Ace” Merrill, played by Garrett Hedlund (“Friday Night Lights,” “Troy,” “Tron: Legacy”).

Azarakhsh said Ace, like Wilkes, will create tension as “Castle Rock’s bully” who is “threatening a fragile peace with nearby Jerusalem’s Lot.”

Other actors for Season 2 include 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’ home-schooled daughter who is starting 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.

Season 1 of “Castle Rock” was filmed in Orange throughout the summer of 2017, and then on and off until January of last year. The production team has lauded Orange as a film location, even donating $13,500 to the town for its cemeteries, memorials, parks and fire department.

The show — executive producers are King, JJ Abrams, Ben Stephenson, Dustin Thomason, Vince Calandra, Sam Shaw, Liz Glotzer — is aired on Hulu, a subscription on-demand video service. 

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




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