San Diego Comic Con attendees will have the opportunity to watch the first episode of Hulu’s horror series Castle Rock ahead of its official release on the streaming service. Produced by J.J. Abrams, Castle Rock is based on the works of horror master Stephen King, taking its name from the fictional town of Castle Rock in Maine.
Unlike other adaptations of King’s works, the series intertwines characters and themes from King’s mythology, many of which can be spotted in the teasers. Castle Rock is set to debut on Hulu on July 25th, but with San Diego Comic Con fast approaching, the production team is seizing the opportunity and will give a special treat to those attending their panel.
According to Deadline, the first episode of Castle Rock will be shown during Hulu's panel in Ballroom 20. Producer J.J Abrams will not be in attendance as he is currently working on Star Wars Episode IX in the UK, but stars Sissy Spacek and Bill Skarsgård (among others) will be there. Deadline adds that Stephen King himself won’t attend either, but there’s a chance that Abrams will appear via video.
The Castle Rock experience will not end there and will go beyond the walls of Ballroom 20. For those who cannot attend the panel, Hulu is developing an immersive “experience” outside the convention (near the Hard Rock Café), very much like other TV series have done before, most notably The Walking Dead. Deadline reports that Hulu is aiming to make the Castle Rock experience “one of the biggest and baddest, in the best way”.
Castle Rock is the home of many of Stephen King’s stories, such as The Body, Cujo, and The Dead Zone, and has been referenced in a number of books, including IT, Gerald’s Game, and Doctor Sleep. As mentioned above, the series brings together characters and elements from King’s mythology, and among the books that served as inspiration are Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Needful Things, and Dreamcatcher.
Though some plot details are still a mystery, the series will explore the troubled lives of the residents of Castle Rock. When attorney Henry Deaver (Andre Holland) returns to his hometown to represent a prisoner (played by Bill Skarsgård) locked up in Shawshank’s State Penitentiary, dark (and creepy) things start happening. It’s not strange that Hulu decided to show the first episode at San Diego Comic Con, as this has been a common move from networks and studios in recent years. By itself, Castle Rock is on its way to become a favorite among Stephen King fans (who will surely have a lot of Easter eggs and details to catch), but bringing the experience beyond the screen and outside the convention for everyone to enjoy can elevate it to another level – and likely gain some viewers as well.
Castle Rock debuts on Hulu on July 25.