Stephen King's Novels And More Are Getting Their Own Giant Interconnected TV Universe

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TV shows and novels have long gone hand in hand, as the episodic layout is often much better suited for more complicated tales than short-form features, even accounting for the overused trilogy form. That said, single novels don't tend to provide more than one TV season of material. Enter a perfect solution of epic proportions: Hulu is reteaming with iconic novelist Stephen King and J.J. Abrams for a wide-reaching anthology series dubbed Castle Rock, which will bring together the worlds from several different books and other works from King's massive bibliography.

As fans of Stephen King's work are fully aware, Castle Rock is one of the author's most iconic and oft-used locations, and it will indeed be the physical (or metaphysical) setting for the project, which Hulu is said to have ordered straightaway. Castle Rock will reportedly tie together many different characters and themes from the Stephen King books and stories that are set at least partly in and around Castle Rock, Maine. Each season would potentially follow a specific story and set of characters from King's oeuvre, with other elements from outside works being woven into the fabric of the fictional universe. I couldn't be more pumped to see such a well-established literary location come to life life this.

Stephen King first introduced Castle Rock in 1979's The Dead Zone, which has lived in both cinematic and televised forms, and the other novels set there include Cujo, The Dark Half and Needful Things. The Body, the novella that inspired the memorable classic Stand By Me, is up for grabs here, as is the super-creepy novella The Sun Dog, along with short stories "Uncle Otto's Truck," "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" and "It Grows on You." But many other novels and tales feature scenes and characters from Castle Rock, so we could very well also see elements from Bag of Bones, "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," Under the Dome, and more. I mean really, where do you stop once you start going here?

According to THR, neither Hulu nor Warner Bros. Television (who will be behind the project with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot) have released any official information, so the few details being reported shouldn't be treated as gospel. Like, say, rumors about a dead body in the woods, where bully Kiefer Sutherland might be lurking. The creative team rumored to be behind Castle Rock will be Sam Shaw, the creator of the criminally underwatched WGN drama Manhattan, as well as an executive producer from that series, Dustin Thomason.

Last year, Hulu's first big foray into scripted drama was a pretty solid adaptation of Stephen King's historical time travel novel 11/22/63, which Bad Robot produced. And we've since seen things get even better with originals The Path and Chance getting as intense as anything else on TV in recent years. As a fan of Stephen King going back to my earliest days of reading "big people" books, I'm jazzed with all the in-the-works TV shows and big screen projects in the works based on his characters, and Castle Rock is a deadlights-soaked cherry atop the cake.

While waiting to hear more about Castle Rock, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what the small screen has to offer in the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.