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Misery Annie Wilkes.jpg

Hulu's 'Castle Rock' Sets Season 2 Cast: Guess Who's Playing Annie Wilkes?

By Tori Preston | Streaming | March 20, 2019 |

By Tori Preston | Streaming | March 20, 2019 |

Misery Annie Wilkes.jpg

Look, I thought I knew what the second season of Hulu’s everyKing-and-the-kitchen-sink series Castle Rock had in store, based on the season 1 finale. Remember how Jackie Torrance (Jane Levy) was heading out west as part of her book research, presumably to The Overlook Hotel? Remember how Henry Deaver (André Holland) stayed in town, with The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) trapped in that cage? Sure, the show was designed to be an anthology, so I anticipated that the sophomore season would be heading in a new direction with plenty of new characters — but I also naively thought that I could make some predictions based on the teases the show explicitly gave us. That’s, like, how set-ups usually work.

Which is why the fact that they’re introducing a young Annie Wilkes next season is kinda throwing me into a tizzy right now, let me tell you!

Today Castle Rock dropped its first casting announcement for season two, which also offered some hints as to the upcoming plot. And it’s all very exciting and baffling so let’s run through this, shall we?

Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) is joining the series in the leading role of… Annie Wilkes. Yup, THAT Annie Wilkes, the crazy nurse/psycho-fan from Stephen King’s Misery, who is somehow going to find herself waylaid in Castle Rock next season. Kathy Bates won an Oscar for playing Annie, so it’s a lot to live up to, but I have no doubts that Caplan can bring something special to the role (aside from a sledgehammer).


Of course, certain Pajibans may be even more interested to hear who’s been cast as Annie’s daughter, Joy: Eighth Grade’s outstanding Elsie Fisher! Apparently, Joy is being homeschooled by Annie, and starting to have doubts about her mother’s sanity…

Oh, I’m here for this already!

In addition to the Wilkes family, Castle Rock has cast Tim Robbins as Reginald “Pop” Merrill, the cancer-stricken patriarch of a reoccurring crime family from King’s novels. Robbins also starred in The Shawshank Redemption, so his casting is in keeping with the show’s whole “let’s just hire a bunch of people from King movies and keep it all in the family” schtick. Garrett Hedlund (Triple Frontier, also Roxana’s daydreams) will play Pop’s nephew John “Ace” Merrill, a renowned bully who appeared in several King stories (and was played by Kiefer Sutherland in Stand By Me). Matthew Alan (13 Reasons Why) will play Ace’s brother, Chris, who is struggling to keep the peace between his family and the local Somali community, who are led by Barkhad Abdi (Blade Runner 2049) as Abdi Omar and Yusra Warsama (Call the Midwife) as his sister, Nadia. Abdi is working to build a Somali community center, while Nadia is a Harvard-trained medical director who is working at the local hospital in the nearby town of Jerusalem’s Lot.

Oh, does that sound familiar? Yeah, that’s cuz Jerusalem’s Lot is where all the vampires are in Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot!

As of right now, there’s no premiere date set for season two and it’s unclear whether any of the cast from season one will be returning. Though Castle Rock has always hyped up the way it’s treating everything King-related as interconnected, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some familiar faces. If nothing else… I certainly HOPE we get some pay-off on that Jackie Torrence tease! I mean, COME ON!


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Tori Preston is deputy editor of Pajiba. She rarely tweets here but she promises she reads all the submissions for the "Ask Pajiba (Almost) Anything" column at [email protected]. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba

Header Image Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios