Horror television

‘Castle Rock’: Stephen King-JJ Abrams Anthology Hulu Show Finds A Location

After spending weeks touring towns throughout New England and some parts of Southern Canada, those responsible for the upcoming Stephen King mashup series Castle Rock have finally cleared the way to begin filming, reports the Greenfield Recorder, by finding a location for the show: Orange, MA.

For those unfamiliar with the idea of the show, it is to be a psychological horror series produced by JJ Abrams that ties together many of the overarching themes and more specific stories included in Stephen King’s 50+ novel bibliography. As the name of the show suggests, it will be set in Castle Rock, a town that serves as the backdrop for a handful of King tales including Cujo and The Dead Zone.

Where Is Castle Rock?: Finding The Location

Because Castle Rock was already a known location with its own established image, it was especially challenging to find a fitting filming location for the Hulu show, says freelance location manager Joseph Stargensky. Nonetheless, he thinks he and his colleagues stumbled upon an uncanny image of the Castle Rock Stephen King began working on nearly 40 years ago.

“They loved it,” Stargensky recalled, referring to the studio heads’ reactions when he emailed them pictures he had taken of Orange. “They said, ‘This is Castle Rock right here.'”

He continued that the town exudes quaint new England charm and a small town feel like few other burgs they saw, and that makes it an excellent real-world version of the rustic, tight-knit (although conspiratorial) village King has constructed.

Now that Hulu has gone with Orange, MA, the town’s community development manager Kevin Kennedy has been extremely busy showing the high-profile show’s people every nook and cranny of Orange. That includes lots of old abandoned mills and centuries-old roads that are paved not with cement but with cobblestones. He says that, since he realizes the series is Stephen King-based, he is focusing on showing the “not so shiny and new” side of the town in addition to the sights one might consider must-sees.

How Orange, MA Will Benefit From Castle Rock

The relationship between Castle Rock and Orange, MA, is symbiotic; Castle Rock gets a great location for shooting, but Orange comes out on top too for a few reasons.

First of all, many of Orange’s citizens are huge Stephen King fans who are overjoyed their town gets to play such an integral part in this series, points out Western Mass News. If they’re lucky, they might even come across some spoilers for the show while they’re out and about their business.

“If clowns start popping out of the sewer, I’m moving,” jokes Laury Neely, a resident of Orange who is obviously familiar with the 1986 Stephen King work IT, a novel about a murderous shapeshifting clown who lives in the pipes beneath the city.

New England Town
[Image by Traveler1116/iStock]

“I am a fan of Stephen King books. I have read almost every single one of them,” chimes in Kris Burns, who owns a cafe in Orange.

Business owners like Burns will also reap the benefits of Castle Rock for another reason, though: the production will really stimulate the Orange, MA, economy.

“That’s a few months of added interest in the town and I’m sure all local business would be happy to take advantage of,” Burns adds happily. “It gives us something to sell because we love it here.”

He finishes by saying Castle Rock will probably help Orange tourism, too, because the town will be shown on a national scale and at least some people will be familiar with its true identity. Not only that, but Orange will always be able to advertise itself as “The Real-Life Castle Rock.”

When Is Castle Rock Filming In Orange?

Although Hulu has been planning Castle Rock since at least last winter, Kennedy notes that the writers have only finished a few scripts. In fact, the locations of the scenes from those few episodes have guided what parts of Orange he has shown off.

Even though the scripts are not all finished, filming will begin very soon — July 30, to be exact. Producers on the show say that it will be filming in Orange until January.

During that time, various streets in Orange will close down for short periods. At one point, the entire downtown will be temporarily closed so that the storefronts can transform into some of the famous (and at times infamous) Castle Rock businesses. Stargensky says he and the other location managers will introduce themselves to attendees of the Orange town hall meeting on June 28.

The first season of Castle Rock will contain 10 episodes, they say, and it takes 10 to 15 days to film a single episode.

The next step in location scouting is to find a house that can serve as the on-screen home for Castle Rock‘s main protagonist, a death row attorney Deadline reports is played by Moonlight star Andre Holland.

[Featured Image by Dimitrus_K/iStock]

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