If you’re a fan of Stephen King, then you’ll undoubtedly love Epix’s upcoming horror series Chapelwaite. The cast and crew participated in a panel for SDCC 2021 that delved into its origins as well as the varied themes it encompasses. Moderator Anthony Breznican led the charge with showrunners Jason Filardi and Peter Filardi as well as stars Adrien Brody (Charles Boone) and Emily Hampshire (Rebecca Morgan). 

Now, the show is adapted from King’s short story, Jerusalem’s Lot. It takes place in 1850s Maine. Captain Charles Boone has inherited his ancestral home, Chapelwaite manor. But the sleepy town of Preacher’s Corners harbors deep, dark secrets all on its own. Rebecca Morgan applies to be a governess for Boone’s children in the hopes of utilizing them as inspiration for her Gothic novel. 

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Naturally, horrors and haunts ensue. Brody noted that “Stephen’s writing is so cinematic and so visual, you really feel the tension and this foreboding sense.” This style lends itself to Chapelwaite‘s horrific aura. The Filardis dove into the “antagonist” of the show and how they were always “changing the face” of it. They strove to keep the mystery inside Chapelwaite (the manor) a secret. “Nobody is ahead of the game,” Jason Filardi added.

Hampshire revealed a fun fact about the house in which they filmed. Several people have died in it! It’s also an Airbnb! 

Additionally, the panelists discussed the themes of racism and otherness that are pervasive in Chapelwaite, and how that resonates with contemporary culture. “History is a grim reminder of what’s still wrong with the world,” Brody eloquently put. The “monster” of this series is history. Boone tries to dig deeper into the sordid secrets and darkness that have plagued his family. Morgan also attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding her own familial history. 

So, how did the Filardis bring Chapelwaite to life? “Stephen had seen 17 Again and said, ‘I need that guy!'” Jason joked. In reality, the Filardis had pitched a different horror series to Epix. Later, Epix called them back and asked if they would helm a Stephen King short story instead. The rest is history. 

Meanwhile, Brody was hiking in the Himalayas when he received a phone call regarding the show. Hampshire was just coming off Schitt’s Creek. Needless to say, this is quite the change of pace. She was in LA when she read the first script.

At the time, she was diving into writing and trying to bring her own project to fruition. She instantly connected with the fact that Rebecca is a writer. Hampshire noted that she thought of Rebecca as a “female Stephen King” in the 1850s, so that’s how she played her. 

Here’s a fun story about worms! Charles Boone finds a worm in his nose in one episode. Brody asked for it to be a real worm that actually went inside his nostril. They had a worm wrangler on set who was handling the worm with her bare hands. Brody was more concerned for the woman than himself. He also rinsed the worm by hand because he didn’t want them sanitizing it. A consummate performer and lover of all creatures, big and small. 

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I’m excited about Chapelwaite! Brody has been one of my favorite actors for years, and I’m curious to see Hampshire portray someone far removed from Stevie Budd. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Stephen King. 

You can watch the full panel for the show below. Chapelwaite premieres on August 22 at 10 pm, only on Epix. 

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