If Academy Awards were handed out at the end of the year for horror movie performances, I’m pretty sure Bill Skarsgård would earn one this year for his portrayal of iconic killer clown Pennywise in Andy Muschietti’s IT. What’s next for Skarsgård? As we recently learned, he’s headed back into the King Universe for Hulu’s “Castle Rock”!
The series, which tells an original story set inside the fictional town that Stephen King made famous, debuted a teaser trailer earlier this month, and you probably noticed some strong references to Shawshank Prison, the primary setting of The Shawshank Redemption. As it turns out, Skarsgård will be playing an inmate in next year’s series.
“Instead of playing a killer clown as he did in IT, this time around Skarsgård portrays a prisoner at Shawshank, who is directly connected with André Holland’s Henry Deaver, a death-row attorney,” reports Flickering Myth this week.
“The only thing I want to stress is that [Castle Rock is] a completely separate thing than Pennywise and IT,” Skarsgård himself recently explained to Rotten Tomatoes. “The world is brand new. It’s Stephen King’s universe… these are places we’ve been familiarized with through his work. But the show is an original story in that world. The character is a lot of fun. He’s — it’s a really weird one. [He’s] so different from Pennywise. I’m using a completely different tool set here for this one.”
From Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television, “Castle Rock” is named after the fictional town in King’s native Maine that is featured prominently in a number of his novels, novellas and short stories. Per the producers, it combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland.
Castle Rock first appeared in King’s 1979 novel “The Dead Zone”, and has reappeared as late as his 2013 novel “Doctor Sleep” and 2014 novel “Revival”. The name is taken from the fictional mountain fort of the same name in “Lord of the Flies”. “Cujo”, “The Dark Half” and “Needful Things” were set in Castle Rock, while “Creepshow”, “The Stand”, “Sleepwalkers”, “Gerald’s Game” and even “IT” reference the town.
The cast also includes Scott Glenn, Sissy Spacek, Terry O’Quinn, Melanie Lynskey and Jane Levy.
Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason developed Castle Rock for television and serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer.