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Castle Rock Trailer Hints at a More Inclusive Version of the “World of Stephen King”

After the awesomeness that was 11/22/63, I’ve been very excited about Castle Rock, the upcoming collaboration between Hulu, Bad Robot, and horror legend Stephen King. I got even more excited when the news broke that Moonlight‘s Andre Holland was joining the cast as the series protagonist. Now, this first trailer for the series has me excited for many other reasons. Check it out above!

First, it’s awesome that it seems to be centering the experience of a black protagonist, when the usual for Stephen King novels and adaptations is very … white. Interesting, too, that in this case, the black man is in law enforcement, as opposed to being the “Magical Negro” criminal ie; The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile. My hope is that the character he plays, Henry, isn’t magical in any way as he investigates the strange goings-on around him.

Also exciting is the glimpses I caught of two awesome actresses: Melanie Lynskey and original film Carrie herself, Sissy Spacek! According to IMDb, Lynskey is playing the role of Molly Strand, while Spacek is playing Ruth Deaver.

The Boston Globe described Ruth as “the estranged adoptive mother of Henry and a retired professor whose fading memories may hold a key to Castle Rock’s unsettling past.” Meanwhile, Variety reports that Molly is “a woman with a rare medical condition who’s barely scraping by as a real estate agent in a town where every third property is the site of someone’s worst nightmare.”

And of course, there’s Bill Skarsgård, who made a huge splash this year in another King adaptation, playing Pennywise in the recent film adaptation of It. His character isn’t listed on IMDb, but from what we see of him in this trailer, he ends up in prison. He’s getting to be a King universe staple, and I’m totally okay with that.

I’m intrigued by the fact that we’re getting a new story (and possibly a new black-centered, feminine approach) set in the worlds of Stephen King that we’ve come to know and love. I’ve been a Stephen King fan for a long time, but it’s hard to ignore how white and male most of his stories are. When there are black people or women as protagonists, they are either criminals, magical, or murderous.

It’s as though, in creating this show set in “the world of Stephen King” they’re trying to correct the world of Stephen King, and with the man himself’s blessing. I’m all for it.

Will you be watching Castle Rock?

(image: Hulu)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.