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And that's not all...
In Castle Rock Season 2, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes gets waylaid in Castle Rock.
• Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) will play Annie’s home-schooled teenage daughter, Joy, who is starting to have questions about her mother's sanity. Pray for that poor child.
• Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) is returning to Stephen King country as Reginald "Pop" Merrill. Pop -- a character from Stephen King's 1990 novella The Sun Dog who was also mentioned in Needful Things -- is the head of the Merrill crime family. He's dying of cancer and at a reckoning with his family.
• Garrett Hedlund (Triple Frontier) will play Pop's nephew John "Ace" Merrill, who is taking over his uncle’s businesses and threatening a fragile peace with nearby Jerusalem’s Lot. Fun fact: Ace Merrill was in Stephen King's novella The Body, which became the movie Stand By Me. He was played by Kiefer Sutherland in the movie. Ace was also a character in Needful Things.
• Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why) will play Chris Merrill, Pop's nephew and Ace's brother, who struggles to keep peace between the Merrills and the Somali community.
• Yusra Warsama (Call the Midwife) will play Dr. Nadia Omar, the Harvard-trained Somali medical director of a rural hospital in Jerusalem's Lot. Her rational and scientific mind will be put to the test.
• Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) will play Abdi Omar, Nadia's tough, older brother who leads the charge to build a Somali community center that will deepen the roots of his people in Maine.
That cast. Season 2 already sounds amazing.
When Hulu renewed Castle Rock for Season 2, we already knew it would come with a new cast and a new story. It's not clear yet how much it may intersect with the events of Season 1, which starred André Holland, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgard, and Jane Levy. It did seem like Jane Levy's Jackie Torrance might have more to say, so we'll have to see if that The Shining tie-in plays out further in Season 2.
Obviously, Lizzy Caplan has the major role in Season 2 as younger Annie Wilkes. Kathy Bates played Annie Wilkes in the 1990 movie Misery, adapting Stephen King's 1987 novel, with James Caan as famous author Paul Sheldon. Annie was Paul's "number one fan," but also a first-class psycho. It should be interesting to see a little more of how she got that way, perhaps akin to Bates Motel showing Norman Bates' journey to his Psycho state.
Castle Rock Season 1 ran for 10 episodes from July to September 2018 on Hulu. Last summer, THR asked co-showrunner Dustin Thomason to clarify the show's vision as an anthology series, asking if fans should expect a hard reset every season. Here's part of Thomason's response:
In terms of the anthology, 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. It's pretty delicious that Kathy Bates played both Dolores Claiborne and Annie Wilkes when you really think about that question in the movie adaptations. But I think that there's something for us about being faithful to the way that Steve does it in the books, that almost feels like the anthology format has already been laid out for us.
It sounds like Stephen King fans may want to at least brush up on Misery, Needful Things, The Sun Dog, The Body, and Jerusalem's Lot before Castle Rock Season 2. Hulu has yet to announce a premiere date for the 10 episodes ahead, but stay tuned.