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Stephen King and J.J. Abrams Are Bringing ‘Castle Rock’ to Hulu

By  · Published on February 18th, 2017

A wonderfully vague video tease has appeared for a new King-centered show.

Stephen King has been a fixture in popular culture for decades, and despite a brief experiment with “retirement” back in 2002 he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. He recently finished up a trilogy of novels with the first — Mr. Mercedes ‐ being turned into a television series from David E. Kelly. The Mist is being adapted into a show as well, and more than half a dozen other feature films are in various stages of production. We’re even excited for some of them including Mike Flanagan’s Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower.

There are various degrees of detail known about each of them, but news dropped today announcing a King-related project that caught the internet by surprise.

Like most things these days, it began with a tweet.

Following the link and watching the video revealed a pretty exciting surprise. That’s right ‐ King is teaming up with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot on a new project! Following the YouTube link rewarded viewers with a short teaser announcing a new series (we think) called Castle Rock (most likely) that will be premiering soon on Hulu. This is the same creative team that brought us last year’s 11.22.63, and this already promises to be even better for the mere fact that it doesn’t feature James Franco.

Okay, that’s more of an assumption than a fact, but a man can dream can’t he?

King himself also tweeted out a link to the video saying “JJ Abrams and I want to invite you to take a trip to Castle Rock. Soon. Be afraid.” Take a look at the video below:

Oh hell yes.

But… what is it?

The teaser references dozens of titles and characters from King’s multiverse, some of which take place in his fictional town of Castle Rock (Needful Things) and some that don’t (‘Salem’s Lot), but I expect that’s more about establishing a brand and setting a mood than actually hinting at what’s to come. Beyond that though your guess is as good as ours. It’s probably safe to assume it’s going to be a narrative show ‐ meaning not a documentary of some kind looking at the films themselves ‐ but that still leaves a lot of questions.

I can easily see this video being used as an Amazing Stories-like opening for a King-centric anthology series. He still has a ton of short stories that have yet to be adapted, and as a fan of TNT’s under-rated Nightmares & Dreamscapes series I’d love to see more of them brought to the small screen rather than expanded into underwhelming feature films (sorry Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, and others). Make it six to eight episodes per season and I can see this running for years, and I’d also be down for King himself showing up to introduce each tale like a modern day Rod Serling.

Another possibility is a show set in King’s world but based on original scripts. I’m less excited about this option, but it could go one of two ways. The show could still be an anthology format with unrelated tales each episode, or it could even be a continuous narrative with recurring characters and strange story lines centered in the town of Castle Rock. That last option sounds suspiciously similar to the recently concluded Haven though ‐ a series ostensibly based on King’s The Colorado Kid but actually in no way related ‐ so I’m hoping they instead go the anthology route.

One other possibility involves the other King/Castle Rock-related news announcement. Per Syfy, King has also recently co-written a new novella with Richard Chizmar (publisher of the excellent small press Cemetery Dance) that’s reportedly set in the infamous town. As with the Hulu show details are slight on the tale regarding plot and release date.

Whichever one of these it turns out to be ‐ or if it’s something I haven’t even thought of ‐ we can’t wait to check it out when it premieres on Hulu sometime… this year?

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.