Discover the early years of Annie Wilkes in a new 'Castle Rock' featurette clip (exclusive)

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Thirty years ago, Kathy Bates entered horror movie history by taking a sledgehammer to James Caan’s ankles in Misery, Rob Reiner’s 1990 adaptation of the Stephen King novel. That sequence didn’t just catapult the actress to fame and fortune: It also helped win her an Oscar for her star turn as the world’s scariest No. 1 fan, Annie Wilkes. But there’s more — much more — to Annie than her penchant for hobbling her favorite authors. And that’s precisely what the sophomore season of Hulu’s Stephen King-inspired anthology series, Castle Rock, sets out to explore. Arriving on digital on Jan. 21, with a Blu-ray and DVD release to follow on May 19, Season 2 is a Misery prequel that features Lizzy Caplan as a younger, but still dangerous, Annie.

“The idea of doing a Misery-connected story was always in our minds,” remarks Castle Rock co-creator and executive producer, Dustin Thomson in an exclusive clip from a new Season 2 featurette that Yahoo Entertainment is premiering today. “It seemed to present such an amazing opportunity to fill in some of the gaps that exist in the story... and to really give Annie her own point of view.” (Watch the clip above.)

Lizzy Caplan plays the young Annie Wilkes of 'Misery' infamy in Season 2 of the Stephen King-inspired series, 'Castle Rock' (Photo:  Dana Starbard / ©Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection)
Lizzy Caplan plays the young Annie Wilkes of Misery infamy in Season 2 of the Stephen King-inspired series Castle Rock. (Photo: Dana Starbard / ©Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection)

For her part, Caplan relished the knowledge that her version of Annie grows up to become Kathy Bates. “I remember my parents going to see [Misery] in the theater, and coming home and talking about the hobbling,” the Masters of Sex star remarks in the featurette. “When I saw it [I remember] just loving it and being in full awe of Kathy Bates.” At least some things remain the same between the past and future version of Wilkes. “She has this very rigid set of rules and rigid standards and if anyone crosses her... there are going to be consequences,” Caplan says, with emphasis on the word “consequences.”

Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment last year, Bates remembered the consequences of being cast opposite an actor with different working methods. “I think we were butting heads from the very beginning,” she remembered of her off-screen relationship with Caan. “I remember being on set and I was doing a big speech. I kept hearing this voice and Jimmy was on the telephone ... making all this noise. I got so frustrated working with him.” But Reiner encouraged her to channel that frustration into her performance. “Rob gave us this wonderful direction: ‘You guys as characters are coming to this with opposite motives and opposite perceptions, so it’s OK if you’re not clicking.’”

In the end, that bit of direction powered Bates to a Best Actress win at the 63rd Academy Awards, making her one of the few performers to win a statue for a horror movie. “That was very cool,” Bates remarked in a separate 2019 interview with us. “I remember Rob saying, ‘You may get the nomination, but you’re not going to win,’” she said, adding that she had more confidence in her victory. “I knew I was going to win! My husband said ‘No you’re not.’ He didn’t want me to get my feelings hurt!”

Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season will be available on digital on Jan. 21 and on Blu-ray and DVD on May 19.

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