Lizzy Caplan and J.J. Abrams plan to bring plenty of misery to Castle Rock in the season 2 trailer. The new season of the Stephen King anthology series is set to premiere in October on Hulu, and so far it’s not been shy about which famous King character will be raising hell this time around. The news that Caplan has taken on the role of Annie Wilkes, giving audiences another iteration of the character who brought Kathy Bates an Academy Award in Rob Reiner’s 1990 adaption of Misery, came as something of a welcome surprise, after season 1 mostly aimed to utilize familiar concepts and locations over distinguished characters from King’s body of work.
And while it would certainly be conceivable that Caplan could carry an entire season of the series on her shoulders, Hulu and executive producer J.J. Abrams have seen fit to cast a few other recognizable faces to help carry the load. Case in point, Tim Robbins has been cast to play Reginald ‘Pop’ Merrill, while Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire) will play his son, John ‘Ace’ Merrill, and Caplan will be joined by Eighth Grade standout Elsie Fisher as Joy Wilkes. All of that adds up to an anticipated new season of a high-concept anthology series that may well exceed the expectations of season 1.
The new trailer comes shortly after Hulu released a brief first-look teaser that hinted at a fractured story told mostly from the perspective of Annie. The recently released official trailer has a bit more time at its disposal, meaning audiences get more of the season’s big picture, which, in addition to Annie’s arrival in Castle Rock, focuses on a gang war and the town’s dark and bloody history. Check out the official trailer for Castle Rock season 2 below:
At first glance, the trailer makes Castle Rock looks a bit like Noah Hawley’s FX anthology, Fargo. The warring criminal factions and incredibly eccentric personalities on display in the titular small town certainly add to the similarity between the two projects. However, Castle Rock is playing within a much larger universe, and although it may feel thematically similar, the tone certainly favors dark psychological horror over, say, irreverence or whimsy.
Nevertheless, Castle Rock season 2 looks to have a more cohesive storyline than its predecessor, which, despite some standout episodes and terrific performances from André Holland, Sissy Spacek, Bill Skarsgård, and Melanie Lynskey, suffered from too many ideas and not enough story to pay them all off. With any luck, second time’s the charm for Hulu’s ambitious anthology.
Castle Rock season 2 premieres Wednesday, October 23 on Hulu.