CASTLE ROCK: Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason on Getting the Tone Right in a Stephen King Adaptation - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CASTLE ROCK: Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason on Getting the Tone Right in a Stephen King Adaptation

August 29, 2018 by  

Castle Rock

Castle Rock — Episode 105 – A stranger comes to town; Castle Rock honors Sheriff Pangborn. Henry Deaver (Andre Holland), shown. (Photo by: Patrick Harbron/Hulu)

With more than four decades of material to play with, Stephen King’s various novels and stories are continuously being adapted. (Since 2017, the list includes films THE DARK TOWER, IT, GERALD’S GAME, and 1922, while MR. MERCEDES just started its second season on television.) Hulu’s CASTLE ROCK is a bit of an abnormality, because while the series shares a character directly from King’s world (and it’s set in one of his most famous fictional locations), the story is an original one.

But with so many adaptations/takes on King’s work, some have gotten it very right—and others have entirely missed the mark, opting to go with thrills and scares versus diving into what really makes a King story so disturbing.

Thankfully, CASTLE ROCK—in addition to being a genuinely great show—has managed to feel true to a King story: moody, terrifying, and full of compelling characters.

“In a way, [King] almost invented psychological horror,” CASTLE ROCK co-creator Sam Shaw explained to reporters in the video below. “The books are so psychological and they’re so character-driven. In the end, you look at ‘The Shining‘—there is a relatively low body count…there’s something so disturbing about that [of losing control around the ones you love], and the interiority of it is so provocative.”

“There are some uncanny and unexplainable events that take place [in the show],” he continued. “But it was important to us that they always be presented subjectively through the point of view of a character, not presented objectively to an audience as a kind of thrill on a roller coaster.”

The twists and turns of CASTLE ROCK are also an homage to the way King tells his stories. “One thing we love about Stephen King is the way you can go on a Stephen King ride and never know exactly what ride you’re on,” co-creator Dustin Thomason teased. “Where you can start in one place, as a story [and take an unexpected twist]. Look at ‘The Stand‘—think about how is basically an outbreak novel at the beginning, which is ostensibly something that could really happen, and by the end, you’re standing in another world, with Randall Flagg on a mountaintop, and he’s being worshiped by others. That sense of the unexpected was something that we really wanted to achieve.”

Check out more from Shaw and Thomason…

CASTLE ROCK, Wednesdays, Hulu


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