Stephen King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, and its subsequent 1994 film adaptation, The Shawshank Redemption, may not have any murderous ghosts or prom night massacres, but it did show just the horrors of injustice within the walls of Shawshank State Penitentiary. A new Hulu show will revisit one of King's most famous locations, but just how Castle Rock connects to Shawshank is still a huge head-scratcher.
On Sunday, Hulu released a new teaser trailer for the J.J. Abrams and King collaboration, and, unsurprisingly, it's generating way more questions than answers. For example: Why is that videotape on fire? Who is the face on the "Missing Children" poster? And is Bill Skarsgard's character secretly Pennywise the Dancing Clown in disguise?!? (Okay, so that last one is probably just our coulrophobia acting up again, but after seeing It, can you blame us?)
"You have no idea what's happening here," teases the voiceover within the trailer, echoing literally every fan's internal monologue.
However, there is one thing that's easy to pick up on: At the very end of the teaser, we see a car containing a seal for the Department of Corrections, Shawshank. (!!!)
It makes sense that Shawshank would fit into the Castle Rock narrative, which, per the official logline from TVLine, "combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland." Shawshank is a fictional prison, but it's also located in the state of Maine, where the author himself resides.
The connection to Shawshank was also teased in the show's very first teaser video, which showed a vein-like web connecting different aspects of King's work, from the Shawshank prison to Annie Wilkes from his novel Misery.
Other connections within the new trailer to King's work could be superficial — or could mean everything. In addition Skarsgard appearing in the teaser, Sissy Spacek also appears. Spacek, as any horror fan knows, starred as the titular character in Carrie. Could the tragic figure have some connection to the plot of Castle Rock, or is Spacek's casting a mere wink to hardcore King fans?
It's all a mystery — and so is when we'll find out. Castle Rock's premiere date is simply listed as "2018," so we'll have many months to try to untangle this twisted web.