Hulu’s Castle Rock is going to take on Stephen King’s Misery in season two, the 1987 novel about romance author Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car accident and subsequently held hostage by his number one fan Annie Wilkes — played by James Caan and Kathy Bates in the 1990 film of the same name. In this iteration, Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex, Party Down) has been cast as the leading role of Wilkes in the sophomore season of the horror anthology series, along with Tim Robbins, Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis), Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why), and Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) as Annie’s home-schooled teenage daughter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the second season “will explore a feud between warring clans that comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes, King’s ‘nurse from hell,’ gets waylaid in Castle Rock.” And as with season one, eagle-eyed fans will piece together plenty of ties from King’s vast catalog of work:
Robbins will play Reginald “Pop” Merrill, the famed patriarch of King’s iconic crime family who is dying of cancer and at a reckoning with his family. Hedlund will play John “Ace” Merrill, the town of Castle Rock’s legendary bully who is taking over his uncle Pop’s business and threatening a fragile peace with nearby Jerusalem’s Lot. Alan will portray Chris Merrill, Pop’s nephew and Ace’s brother who struggles to keep peace between the Merrills and the Somali community.
Robbins’ “Pop” Merrill was featured in King’s novella The Sun Dog, published in his 1990 collection Four Past Midnight. That story was set in the town of Castle Rock, where the Hulu anthology takes place. “Ace” Merrill (played by Hedlund) was featured in King’s 1991 horror novel Needful Things, and perhaps most famously by Kiefer Sutherland in Stand By Me (which moved Castle Rock to Oregon).
Jerusalem’s Lot is, of course, the fictional town from King’s 1975 horror novel Salem’s Lot. However, it’s unclear whether or not undead vamps will make an appearance in the series.