For Stephen King fans, 2017 is shaping up to be as big a banner year as there ever was. Barring delays, four different feature films based on his work will be released -- not counting the beyond-unrelated sequel Children of the Corn: Runaway -- and three different TV series are using his works as source material. One of those, Hulu's upcoming psychological horror series Castle Rock, is building a stellar cast for its world-connecting narrative, and the latest to join the ensemble is Bill Skarsgård, who also happens to be the clown-faced star of the big screen adaptation of IT.
Now, when Castle Rock was announced and all of the various elements from Stephen King's fictional universe were teased for future appearances, we definitely saw the name of the human form of IT's antagonist, Pennywise. However, Bill Skarsgård's portrayal of the deadly entity won't be ported into the TV show, and the actor will take on a completely different role. And it's confirmed to be a series regular role, so we can expect to see quite a bit of him.
For Castle Rock, Bill Skarsgård will be playing what appears to be a new character, but since a name isn't given, it could easily be a familiar face from Stephen King's mega-bibliography. He's described as "a young man with an unusual legal problem." Admittedly, I can't think of anyone that directly refers to, but considering how many thousands of characters King has written, it's not so surprising. Could it be Jim Trusdale from the short story "A Death?" Not so likely. Thinner's Billy Halleck? Slightly more plausible, if still not very probable. Or what about...Pennywise?
Personally, my hope is that whatever Bill Skarsgård's character gets into during the run of Castle Rock, it ends with IT's evil entity taking over his body and using it as his child-accumulating vessel. No, it probably wouldn't make any sense unless Castle Rock is partially set in the 1980s, when Skarsgård's Pennywise will first appear to the children of Derry in IT, but that's a hope. It's not science.
Set in a setting that is only a few square miles wide, Castle Rock will be an imaginative take on the epic source material that serves as both an expansive character study, as well as a vehicle for all of the wild and crazy supernatural and mythological stories and moments that fans have been gobbling up for over 40 years. The cast also includes Carrie vet Sissy Spacek as a knowledgable professor, André Holland as her Death Row attorney son, Jane Levy as the town historian and Melanie Lynskey as a real estate agent with a specific medical condition.
Beyond his work on IT, Bill Skarsgård is possibly best known to U.S. audiences for his breakout role in Netflix's early Original, the horror Hemlock Grove. On the feature side of things, he's also appeared in The Divergent Series: Allegiant, and will soon be seen opposite Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.
IT will be released in theaters on Friday, September 8, so remember to pack your raincoat and your galoshes. Meanwhile, Castle Rock doesn't yet have a specific release date, but we can likely expect it to start haunting our dreams in late 2017. In the meantime, there's still a lot of TV to catch up with, so head to our summer premiere schedule to set yourselves up accordingly.