'Castle Rock' Creators Confirm Anthology Format and Time Jumps

Stephen King is in the middle of a massive surge of adaptations of his memorable stories, though one of the more ambitious King-centric projects is Hulu's upcoming Castle Rock, which takes place in the iconic Maine locale and borrows multiple characters from a variety of stories. Executive producers of the series Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason recently detailed their plans for the show, which confirmed multiple seasons will be planned featuring different characters throughout different time periods.

At the ATX Television Festival last week, Shaw claimed the story of the first season would “run its course throughout the episodes” and teased a “seasonal anthology” structure. The overall concept of the series would “honor the diversity of the kinds of stories Stephen King tells” while delivering fans an "advent calendar" of horrifying tales. With this approach, the characters in the town can “intersect in different ways” across different times in future seasons.

In the new series, inexplicable events unfold in the fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories such as Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemptionare either set there or contain references to Castle Rock. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a first-of-its-kind reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.

Despite King fans instantly recognizing the name of the town, the series wasn't always intended to directly relate to the author and served as more of an homage.

Shaw admitted he and Thomason are “reformed fiction writers and were fans of Stephen King and fans of the geography in Stephen King’s” and the show began to take shape while focusing on a “kind of generic, off-brand Castle Rock.”

While getting King involved would allow for an all-new approach to the series, one would think it could come with creative restrictions. On the contrary, the producers claimed that King was quite open to new interpretations of the characters.

Shaw noted, "[King] was flexible and gave us great license.”

This confirms comments King made last year about being kept in the dark about the series' narrative.

"I’m as much in the dark as anybody else," King confessed to Entertainment Weekly. "I don’t know anything about it so I just hope it turns out really well. It must be going okay. It’s typical J.J. [Abrams]. There’s been nothing that I’ve seen in the press, or anything, about it."

The first three episodes of Castle Rock premiere on Hulu on July 25th.

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[H/T Variety]