Stephen King Easter Eggs Are Everywhere In Castle Rock
The cast and creatives behind Castle Rock, the series based on Stephen King’s extensive catalogue of work, recently spoke with Bloody Disgusting about the show’s knack for weaving together a cohesive horror universe using threads from stories like Cujo, The Shawshank Redemption (the song Terry O’Quinn’s Dale Lacy listens to in Episode 1 is the same one that gets Andy Dufresne thrown in solitary confinement) and even The Shining—Jane Levy plays Jackie Torrance, a name that probably sounds very familiar to long-time King fans.
“Yes, Jackie does have a close relation with a famous King character,” Levy told the site. “Possibly,” was her answer when she was pushed to reveal whether or not the ties were genetic. Levy also went on to talk about the fact that King’s infamous Shawshank State Prison is one of Castle Rock‘s primary locations. “I am a huge fan of [The Shawshank Redemption],” she added, “so that was a nice Easter Egg. I also love the idea of Cujo, this psychopathic, unstoppable and raging canine, so I really liked that too.”
Like his Castle Rock co-star Sissy Spacek, Bill Skarsgård is a bit of an Easter Egg himself following his starring role in IT as Pennywise, the scariest clown to ever don a red nose. But, he says, his new role is very different from his last King gig. “IT is much more expressive, a sort of jump scare type of horror, and Pennywise is extremely expressive and in your face. Castle Rock is more of a slow build, it’s not about the scares as much as it is about the uneasiness of the mystery. My character, The Kid, is less in control and is much about his inner self.”
“It’s not always immediately clear to the audience what is a portent of doom or disaster and what is just a quotidian aspect of everyday life,” said Sam Shaw, Castle Rock’s co-creator. “The whole premise of the show is ‘what if your town is actually the sinister character?’” explains Levy.
As for the direction the show will go in the future, Shaw said that while this season is set in King-esque prison environments like the ones we know from Shawshank or The Green Mile, that could change next season: “We hope to have the latitude to come back to future seasons and just tell a great monster story set in like 1974 or a different kind of story under the influence of a very different Stephen King novel,” he revealed. “Our plan was always to approach each season as an unwritten Stephen King novel.” We like the sound of that.