Ever since the 2010s, Stephen King has made many lucrative TV deals for his novels and in the age of the prestige drama, why not? King’s stories are filled with complex characters, rich themes and dark elements, with franchise potential. Everything streaming services are looking for and Hulu’s Castle Rock is no exception. Fans of Castle Rock immediately recognize that it’s an interconnected Stephen King Multiverse.
What Castle Rock does is connect a bunch of King story lines together seemingly for the first time. Fans will immediately recognize King’s most famous setting, that of Shawshank Prison. Shawshank Redemption of course, is one of the best movies of all time. Castle Rock Maine, where the prison is located, is the setting for a number of King’s stories including: Cujo, Needful Things, and The Dead Zone. It also shares a border with Under the Dome’s Chester’s Mill.
The series also stars Bill Skarsgård who played Pennywise in the recent adaptation of It. Castle Rock stars Sissy Spacek Melanie Lynskey who also have been in previous adaptions of King’s works. See a pattern forming here? Castle Rock may not be a Spinoff of Shawshank Redemption on it’s own. An umbrella that encompasses all of King’s works. A Stephen King Multiverse; where characters and actors, settings, and perhaps even entities, can find their way to Hulu’s small town.
With too Much Content King Chooses To Reinvent the Franchise
It’s a good move on King’s part to flesh out this platform, as some of his adaptations have not done too well. The Dark Tower was met with negative reviews and dismally made just $111 million and the TV show Under the Dome is considered a joke. For a guy with such a massive and seemingly interconnected universe, why not make a show like Castle Rock? The trailer is already getting rave reviews at 7 million viewers and counting and if the early screeners are any indication, it’s a Stephen King’s fan dream come true.
The way that the show is set up; to be a Stephen King Multiverse, is a similar theme that JJ Abrams uses in his Cloverfield movies. Yet this one seems to be more obvious. It even says so in the official synopsis: 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.
If Castle Rock is a success, will Hulu just make more seasons of the show? How about go even farther into a King multiverse with more series like Castle Rock? If the Castle Rock project is successful would Hulu create other Multiverses based on either novels or TV shows?