Been a while since we heard anything on Hulu's Castle Rock, which wrapped up its very satisfying first season in September of last year. We knew a second season was on the table, and that season finale definitely gave us some hints about where the show might be headed in its next batch of episodes, but until today all's been quiet on the Castle Rock front.
As such, we're very excited about the news Deadline just dropped. According to their report, Lizzy Caplan, Tim Robbins, Garret Hedlund, Eighth Grade's Elsie Fisher, Yusra Warsama, Blade Runner's 2049's Barkhad Abdi and 13 Reasons Why's Matthew Alan are all joining Castle Rock's second season, and just wait'll you hear who they're playing:
Caplan’s Annie Wilkes is a nurse and superfan battling to overcome mental health issues.
Robbins is Reginald “Pop” Merrill. The Patriarch of Stephen King’s iconic crime family, Pop is dying of cancer and at a reckoning with his family.
Hedlund plays John “Ace” Merril. Castle Rock’s legendary bully, Ace is taking over his uncle Pop’s businesses and threatening a fragile peace with nearby Jerusalem’s Lot.
Fisher is Joy. Annie’s home-schooled teenage daughter, Joy is starting to have questions about her mother’s sanity.
Warsam is Dr. Nadia Omar. The Harvard-trained Somali medical director of a rural hospital in Jerusalem’s Lot, Dr. Omar’s rational and scientific mind will be put to the test.
Abdi will portray Abdi Omar. The tough, older brother of Nadia, Abdi leads the charge to build a Somali community center that will deepen the roots of his people in Maine.
Alan plays Chris Merrill. Pop’s nephew and Ace’s brother, Chris struggles to keep peace between the Merrills and the Somali community.
As you can see, lots and lots to unpack here.
Let's start with Deadline's synopsis, which reads "In Season 2, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes, Stephen King’s nurse from hell, gets waylaid in Castle Rock." Yes, Annie Wilkes (now with a teenage daughter!) is headed for Castle Rock, and based on the descriptions above it sounds like she'll be exacerbating tensions between the Merrills (a bloodline that's made a number of memorably villainous appearances in King's work over the years) and ... Castle Rock's Somali community? And there's a direct tie to Jerusalem's Lot? This sounds wild, to say the least.
Obviously, this doesn't address the cliffhanger at the end of Castle Rock's first season, which had Jackie Torrence headed for a certain town in Colorado, but we suppose that's fair play: we've known for some time that Castle Rock was intended to function as an anthology series, with each new season dealing with a new set of characters and storylines. They're playing fair by not relocating the action, in other words. We probably should've seen that one coming.
But what a cast! Caplan! Robbins! Fisher! Abdi! We can't wait to see all these folks bouncing off one another, and will be keeping our ear to the ground for further updates while this thing makes its way through production. Stay tuned for more on Castle Rock as it becomes available.