Castle Rock: Paul Sparks replacing Garrett Hedlund on season 2


Hulu’s Castle Rock is having a cast change with season 2. Here’s what we know about the decision and season 2 in general.

According to Deadline, Garrett Hedlund will no longer be playing John “Ace” Merrill for season two. Ace, who was the main bully antagonist in the film Stand By Me, will now be played by Paul Sparks. Hedlund, who has played in films like Friday Night Lights, Troy, and Four Brothers, is said to have merely been replaced as a “creative decision.” Paul Sparks is known for roles in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Netflix original House of Cards and the Starz drama series Sweetbitter.

Right now, one can only speculate as to what the creative decision entails, but apparently, only a handful of scenes were shot with Hedlund and will be re-filmed (if that hasn’t happened already). Castle Rock‘s second season will also feature Lizzy Caplan as the infamous Annie Wilkes (of Stephen King’s Misery) and Tim Robbins will actually play Ace’s father.

Elsie Fisher will appear as Joy Wilkes, Annie’s daughter, who will surely see her mother’s darker side as the season progresses. Yusra Warsama will appear as Dr. Nadia Omar, and Barkhad Abdi will play Abdi Omar. Matthew Alan will play as Ace’s brother, Chris Merrill.
According to both Deadline and Wikipedia’s main page, much of season 2 will focus on a feud between the Merrills and the Somali community.

The name “Jerusalem’s Lot” also appears, which ought to be familiar with Stephen King fans. In other words, this season of Castle Rock will be a lot heavier on well-established King characters, only one can expect new twists and turns in how they relate to each other. Season one was definitely jam-packed with mind-bending content, with the main focus being on the mysterious Kid (Bill Skarsgård) and his relationship with Henry Matthew Deaver (André Holland), Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) and Henry’s mother Ruth (Sissy Spacek). Their lives crisscrossed in some pretty extraordinary ways, and there were hints at Castle Rock being wrapped up in some sort of multi-verse.

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The question is, will we have different versions of Annie Wilkes and Ace? Of course, one also wonders if they see Deaver and/or The Kid again, or if they’ll somehow be sectioned off in the darkened old Shawshank Prison. Time will tell, but season 2 will definitely have some surprises.

What are your thoughts on Castle Rock? Let us know in the comments!