Last year, the streaming service Hulu had one of its biggest success with the limited series “11.22.63,” which starred Oscar nominee James Franco as a time traveler hoping to stop the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. This taut thriller was adapted from a bestselling book by Stephen King and produced for television by J.J. Abrams through his company Bad Robot.
Now the writer and producer are re-teaming on a new series for Hulu, “Castle Rock,” named for a setting of many of King’s classic novels. These masters of mystery promise a wild ride for viewers. Remember, Abrams was the creative genius behind “Lost,” which kept us baffled for five Emmy-winning seasons. Sissy Spacek, who reaped her first Oscar bid for her starring role in the 1976 film version of King’s bestseller “Carrie” has signed on the for the series as has “Twin Peaks” star Jane Levy.
King created the fictional small town of Castle Rock, Maine for his 1979 novel “The Dead Zone,” naming it after the mountain fort featured by Nobel prize winner William Golding in “The Lord of the Flies.” King returned there for the chilling thriller “Cujo” in 1980. It next made an appearance in the short story “The Body” (1982), that Rob Reiner turned into “Stand By Me” in 1986. He was so enamored of the name that he used it for his production company, which went on to produce the now-classic 1994 Best Picture nominee “The Shawshank Redemption” whose narrator hailed from here.
The author set two of the short stories in the 1986 collection “Skeleton Crew” — “Uncle Otto’s Truck” and “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut” — there as well as his 1990 novella “The Sun Dog,” 1991 horror novel “Needful Things” and 1993 short story “It Grows on You.” Since then, King has kept the town alive through references in a slew of other works, most recently the novels “Doctor Sleep” (2013) and “Revival” (2014).