How A Line From Stephen King's Misery Influenced Castle Rock Season 2

Lizzy Caplan as Annie Wilkes in Castle Rock Season 2

It’s difficult to estimate how much of an effect Stephen King has had in pop culture, but he’s certainly both popular and a master of horror and suspense, to the point where a slew of his projects have been turned into movies and TV series based on his books. Castle Rock is a little different, as it features different takes on iconic Stephen King characters; however, a line from a popular Stephen King novel certainly influenced Season 2.

If you’ve been keeping tabs on Hulu’s Castle Rock at all, you should know that Season 2 will prominently feature Annie Wilkes, a character from Stephen King’s book Misery. In this series, Annie Wilkes will be younger than the character audiences have known over time and she will be played by Lizzie Caplan, who recently revealed the line from Misery that influenced her performance.

She said when of researching the gig:

There’s a line in the book that having a conversation with Annie Wilkes is like listening to a song somewhat out of key. She’s a little off, so I wanted to incorporate that. If it couldn’t feel physically terrifying, I wanted it to feel unsettling.

For the TV role, we’ve seen Lizzy Caplan definitely looking unsettling, particularly with her take on how Annie Wilkes walks. Apparently, she took to Stephen King’s work to figure out her own take on the famous character, but the line from the book is not the only Stephen King influence over the way she portrays the character on the streaming service.

In fact, Caplan also told TV Line she really enjoys getting to use the language fans remember from Misery, particularly the use of words like “cockadoodie.”

Prominently on the big screen, Annie Wilkes was played by Kathy Bates in a 1990 film adaptation, also starring James Caan that also memorably features “cockadoodie,” which you can relive below.

Previously, Lizzy Caplan has talked about how her version of Annie Wilkes is different from the one Stephen King envisioned on the page. Her version of Annie and Kathy Bates’ version are going to be different as well, particularly in that Caplan’s is an earlier version of the character. Although at 27, Caplan is just five years younger than Bates was when Misery came out.

In the first trailer for Castle Rock Season 2, Caplan’s Annie Wilkes is shown to be a mother to a teenaged daughter named Joy, as well, separating this version from the versions that came before as well. Influences from other Stephen King works will also permeate Castle Rock Season 2, and I can't wait to see how the whole story ends up playing out with those various connections tying into one narrative whole.

Castle Rock is returning to Hulu for Season 2 this week. For other big returns, be sure to take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.