One of the most highly anticipated horror series of 2018 is just a couple of weeks away from debuting on Hulu, J.J. Abram’s and Stephen King’s Castle Rock. The Hulu horror series is produced by J.J. Abrams and inspired by Stephen King’s stories that take place in his often-used fictional town of Castle Rock. When it was announced last year that Abrams and King were collaborating on a new horror series together, fans went nuts.
King and Abrams executive produce the upcoming series, and it features an impressive cast, and some of the actors have appeared in previous films inspired by Stephen King: Melanie Lynskey (Rachel Wheaton in Rose Red), Scott Glenn, Andre Holland, Jane Levy, Terry O’Quinn, Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise in IT), Sissy Spacek (Brian De Palma’s Carrie), and Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon in IT), among many others. And to top it all off, as documented by IMDb, Stephen King himself is listed as one of the writers for all 10 episodes, so you know it’s going to be good.
Recently, Hulu released the full trailer for Castle Rock, and as expected, it’s filled with quite a few Easter eggs referencing King’s stories. Den of Geek provides the premise for what many expect to be one of the best original series on Hulu.
“A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland…Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller—a first-of-its-kind reimaging that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”
As seen in the trailer, there are some Easter eggs that fans are going bonkers over. At the beginning of the trailer, we see the Shawshank Prison, and later, another character specifically says the prison by name. This is an obvious reference to The Shawshank Redemption, and the prison was also referenced in other stories and films, including Dolores Claiborne and Needful Things.
In that same opening sequence, in the upper left corner, a bunch of mist can be seen, just like in The Mist. Is it connected? Probably. We see actor Scott Glenn in a scene, and IMDb lists him as the character of Alan Pangborn. Alan is the Sheriff of Castle Rock in Needful Things, and he is mentioned and appears in other works, including The Dark Half and Bag of Bones.
We then see a newspaper clipping that mentions a rabid dog, and the victims mentioned in the newspaper, including Tad Trenton, Gary Pervier, and Joe Camber, are characters from Cujo. The Juniper Hill Psychiatric Hospital is also shown, and that lovely institute appeared in IT, Bag of Bones, Gerald’s Game, Insomnia, and 11/22/63 (a Stephen King Story, and a Hulu original limited series). A few moments later, a bunch of balloons can be seen floating above an open house sign, and more than just being reminiscent of IT, if you listen closely, you can hear children laughing. It’s doubtful that Pennywise will actually appear in the Hulu series, as fans would likely reject anyone else portraying the evil clown other than Skarsgard, who is already cast.
A scene is shown of a person frantically using his hands to dig through snow in the woods, and this may be a reference to The Tommyknockers, which features a mysterious object buried in the woods. Birds, both dead and alive, can be seen in the following sequences, and this could be a reference to The Dark Half if the birds are indeed sparrows. We also see a shot of a bunch of kids gathered in a circle seemingly listening to someone speak, and this could be a reference to Children of the Corn. There’s a lovely shot of blood washing down the drain, and that’s probably a nod to Beverly in IT.
Other Easter eggs are likely shown, but those seem to be the ones that stick out the most. Reportedly, the Hulu horror series will sparingly reveal these references, which is a good thing, as that means the show has more to stand on than just nostalgia, though nostalgia can be a lot of fun.