Hulu’s Stephen-King-inspired series Castle Rock has officially been renewed for a second season, according to Variety.
Castle Rock, named after Stephen King’s fictional Maine topography, is set in the Stephen King multiverse, but is not based on any particular novel or series of King’s.
The anthology’s first season centers around Castle Rock, Maine’s only private prison, aptly named Shawshank, whose sinister secrets slowly unravel after the prison is placed under new management.
Hulu’s senior vice president, Craig Erwich, has promised fans that the show’s second season will be “wholly original.”
“It was a deeply original idea from two of the world’s greatest storytellers, and it was centered around something that’s been beloved and familiar to many of Stephen King’s legion of fans, which is the town of Castle Rock. So expectations were high to begin with, but it exceeded them,” Erwich explained, going on to rave about the show’s summer ratings.
While the anthology storytelling of Castle Rock has been well-received, Erwich says that that does not necessarily mean that Hulu will continue to create more shows in that style in the future. “Quite frankly it’s less about a strategy around anthologies and more about, that’s what this story demanded to be,” he said. “The beauty of Hulu is that we’re not tied to any kind of shape or form. The creative can live in its best version, and the best version of ‘Castle Rock’ was this.”
The psychological horror, which first aired on July 25, is reportedly the most successful first season of a Hulu original show. Erwich noted that the metrics of the show’s reception were significantly high, saying, “By all measures, audience, critical, and social response the show has been one of the breakout hits of the summer in television.”
While Erwich attributes some of the show’s success to timing, he also added that “Stephen and JJ [Abrams] are the masters of mystery, and the mystery and the guessing game of what’s going on has sustained week to week.”
One of the show’s executive producers, Dustin Thomason, elaborated on the future of the series, claiming, “Each season is going to be its own self-contained story: beginning, middle and end. But I think that just as the books do, we want to surprise viewers with the ways in which the stories intersect. Just as the places the characters pop up in very unexpected ways throughout the books, that’s the kind of anthology that we would like to tell. One of the things about the King universe or multiverse is that some very strange things can happen when it comes to the ways that the stories unfold, and hopefully there’ll be surprises along the way in terms of how the anthology works in that way.”
The first five episodes of Castle Rock are available to stream on Hulu.