J.J. Abrams arrives at the 13th Annual VES Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. After resurrecting Star Trek

Stephen King’s ‘Castle Rock’: JJ Abrams Gives Update On Anthology King TV Show

JJ Abrams, acclaimed director and producer of such huge successes as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, 11.22.63, Lost, and the 2009 Star Trek, went on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show this past Friday. Among other things, Abrams discussed briefly the upcoming Stephen King anthology series Castle Rock that he is putting together for Hulu.

“These two writers Dustin Thomas and Sam Shaw came up with this incredibly cool, terrifying, weird, funny idea of this series, new story, that takes place in this town,” Abrams told Fallon.

He went on to reveal a bit about how the show would be structured, and what he said suggests that what Stephen King fans initially thought the series would be was incorrect.

When plans for Castle Rock were revealed back in February, Stephen King fans and admirers of JJ Abrams were beyond excited. A King anthology series had long been a dream on Stephen King fan forums such as the Stephen King subreddit, and Abrams had recently established he could do an awesome job adapting Stephen King’s work with the critically lauded Hulu Series 11.22.63.

Not that much was revealed about what exactly the show would do with Stephen King’s vast body of work, and the teaser trailer released only named a few of King’s most famous characters while playing creepy audio in the background.

Although the show’s structure was not really fleshed out, though, the very reliable Hollywood Reporter did let on a little of what ground it would cover.

“The anthology will weave together characters and themes from those novels that use the Castle Rock location,” noted the site’s report on the show’s announcement. “Each season will follow a different set of characters and storylines while interjecting themes and specific characters from previous seasons.”

Those who had already been wishing for a Stephen King anthology show jumped on the vague description and assumed it meant each season of Castle Rock would serve as a comprehensive adaptation of a different King story. It didn’t take long for that to become the generally accepted synopsis of the show’s concept.

What Abrams said last night, however, shows it is not strictly accurate, or at least probably not.

“All these characters from Stephen King’s books are sort of peripherally involved,” he said.

This suggests that, although the show will have a central storyline, it will not be focusing on any specific Stephen King work at any time. It sounds more like the show will follow an original plot that is constantly referencing or borrowing plot elements from King’s bibliography. Abrams did say “new story” when discussing the show, after all.

Stephen King: Head shot of a young author
Stephen King has been writing for 50 years and has produced well over 70 full-length books. That’s quite a pool of work to choose from. [Image by AP Images]

Although the show seems like it will, at its heart, be more of an original story with many shades of Stephen King than a straight-up adaptation, Abrams commented that he made sure King himself approved before he started production.

“We pitched it to Stephen King, he went nuts for it, so we’re doing it for Hulu.”

Who can blame him? One can only imagine the prospect of watching his own literary universe come to life on screen must be sort of surreal even for Stephen King, an author whose works have been adapted into major motion pictures over 50 times.

Abrams also commented during the interview on his personal relationship with King and the author’s demonstrated penchant for gore, which might be a hint as to what kind of imagery we might be seeing in the series — remember that the show is being hosted on Hulu, an independent platform, and not a TV network where things can’t get too graphic.

No release date has been announced yet, but Deadline reported recently that the first season will consist of 10 episodes and will begin filming in August.

The show’s concept certainly sounds interesting. It may disappoint some of Stephen King’s fans that the series will not consist of pure adaptations, but it could present a very compelling story nonetheless. It will be interesting to see how Abrams’ creation comes along, so keep checking back at the Inquisitr for more updates about the series as they become available.

Are you psyched for JJ Abrams’ Stephen King anthology series? What do you imagine the finished product might look like? Make yourself heard in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images File]

Comments