Castle Rock is just one in a long line of Stephen King adaptations to the screen, but it has a difference: instead of adapting a single story from the author’s enormous back catalogue, it tells a new story set in the loose shared universe established by his novels.
As if that wasn’t enough, the show is an anthology series, picking up with a (mostly) new cast in season two as it explores a different aspect of the history of Castle Rock, Maine, while referencing yet more elements of the Stephen King Cinematic Universe.
Season two is out now, so here’s everything you need to know about how to watch it – and news on the cancellation of season 3.
Is season 2 of Castle Rock out in the UK?
Hulu began airing season two in the US from October 2019, but it was a longer wait for the UK. Luckily every episode of the second season is now available on the Amazon Channel Starzplay, having launched on 13 February.
Will there be a season 3?
Unfortunately, Castle Rock will not be moving forward with another season – TV Line reported the news that the show had been cancelled on 3 November. No reason was given by Hulu, but as its an anthology series fans are not being left hanging on an open-ended plot.
Nonetheless, there are other King adaptations in the works, including Overlook on HBO Max – which is based off of The Shining.
How to watch Castle Rock in the UK
If you want to watch Castle Rock in the UK the best bet is Starzplay, which has both seasons available. If you’re not sure what it is, we have a handy Amazon Channels explainer, but it essentially means that to watch you’ll need to have an Amazon Prime account and then add on a subscription to Starzplay. Prime itself starts from £7.99 per month, while Starzplay is £4.99, so it’ll be a grand total of £12.98 each month to keep up with Castle Rock – though there are free trials available for both too.
Alternatively, you can still use a VPN to access Hulu from the UK if you prefer. Just sign up for a VPN like NordVPN or any of the others we recommend for Hulu, choose a server in the US, and you should be able to trick Hulu into thinking that you’re in the States, letting you watch Castle Rock.
It’s worth remembering that you’ll still need to pay for a Hulu account if you don’t have one already, and it can actually be a little tricky to sign up if you don’t have a US address or credit card. It’s not impossible though – just a bit fiddly, so check out our comprehensive guide to watching Hulu from outside the US for a complete breakdown of what you need to do.
Cast and crew
Season two features a whole new cast to go with its new story. Leading the way is Lizzy Caplan, who’ll play Annie Wilkes, the psychopathic nurse played to Oscar-winning effect by Kathy Bates in the movie Misery.
She arrives in Castle Rock in the midst of “a feud between warring clans” which looks to centre on the Merrill crime family – led here by the ailing, cancer-stricken Reginald ‘Pop’ Merrill. He’s played by none other than Tim Robbins – itself a referential bit of casting, since his most famous role remains Andy Dufresne in the landmark King adaptation The Shawshank Redemption.
The rest of the cast includes House of Cards’ Paul Sparks as John ‘Ace’ Merrill (replacing the previously cast Garrett Hedlund), 13 Reasons Why’s Matthew Alan as Ace’s brother Chris, Elsie Fisher as Annie’s young daughter Joy, and Yusra Warsam and Barkhad Abdi as two Somali-born residents of the neighbouring ‘Salem’s Lot, who’s pushed into conflict with the Merrills.
“The basic idea is that it is an anthology in the sense that we’re going to tell a new story that gives you a different lens into Castle Rock and into Stephen King each season,” explained showrunner Dustin Thomason.
“The thing we’ve always been really excited about, in the same way that the Stephen King universe operates, is that each story will stand alone, but that we will be circling back to characters whose stories intersect with the new stories.”
There are some big names behind the cameras too, as both JJ Abrams and Stephen King himself serves as executive producers on the series, though Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason are the day-to-day showrunners, staying on from season one.