It should come as no surprise that the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s 1975 vampire novel, Salem’s Lot, set to release on September 9th, 2022, will see several familiar faces on the screen. To date, Stephen King has had more than 40 of his works turned into movies, and with such a diverse catalog, some faces are bound to reappear.
With Salem’s Lot, filmmakers took a refreshing approach to casting, changing some key roles while bringing in talent fans will recognize from popular new series, beloved old films, and a variety of horror classics.
Mike Ryerson is the town’s laborer, and one of the first residents of Jerusalem’s Lot to be turned. Clark is most recognizable for his role as Adrian Dolan, a character on TNT’s Animal Kingdom. He’s no stranger to the horror genre, though, having played Justin, the unwitting secondary protagonist in the 2009 thriller, The Last House On The Left.
King’s vampires are parasitic in their drive to turn the town into a hive of bloodsuckers, leaving little room for character conflict. Depicting such a one-dimensional character will be a first for Clark, who frequently portrays complex individuals. It may be a challenge for Clark to adapt to a role so different from what he has become accustomed to playing.
12-year-old Danny is Salem’s Lot‘s first successfully turned vampire, and he wastes no time in trying to turn his fellow townsfolk. Most recently seen portraying Ryan Butcher, the son of Homelander on Amazon Prime’s The Boys, Crovetti is no stranger to unsettling roles. He also starred as one of Nicole Kidman’s twin sons in both seasons of HBO’s Big Little Lies.
Though Danny the vampire is not an inherently complex character, the transition from a youthful, spirited boy to a vicious, bloodthirsty monster should be fun for Crovetti, as he draws on his experience playing troubled characters. In his portrayal of Max Wright on Big Little Lies, he was unnervingly believable in imitating his abusive father’s proclivities, and he effectively played a young man caught between two worlds on The Boys.
Poor Father Callahan suffers not only from a love of the bottle but also a deeper crisis of faith, making Hickey an intriguing choice. Most recently seen on HBO’s In Treatment, Hickey has been in dozens of shows, films, and stage productions, including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Pitch Perfect, and The Good Wife.
The role of Father Callahan is miles away from Hickey’s cocky billionaire performance on The Good Wife. In fact, it’s about as far as he could get from a good many of his more well-known parts. Father Callahan is at heart a coward, and Hickey will have to shed the self-confident persona he has infused most of his recent characters with to sell the part.
Matt Burke is a caring teacher, genuinely interested in the lives of his students both past and present. Camp is no stranger to King’s work, having starred as lawyer Howie Salomon on HBO’s The Outsider. Some of Camp’s many roles throughout his 33-year career include Joker, Dark Water, and Rebecca Hall’s acclaimed 2021 film Passing.
Camp’s ability to portray steadfast characters will serve him well in the role of Burke. Frequently taking roles that require him to be level-headed in the face of a crisis, he is ideal to play the English teacher turned vampire hunter. Camp’s natural intellect will help to bring Burke to life as the voice of reason as evil overruns his town.
Human servant and all-around bad guy Straker is the instigator of the vampire invasion in Salem’s Lot, with Game of Thrones alum Pilou Asbæk bringing the sinister character to life. Asbæk swaggered onto the screen as Euron Greyjoy in the sixth season of Game of Thrones and quickly stole the show. The Danish actor has also held roles in Lucy, Ghost in the Machine, and Outside the Wire.
Straker is the kind of villain audiences love to hate, with no issue slaughtering innocent kids to further that cause. Asbæk should be delightfully wicked in the role, bringing a new flavor to a character that would otherwise be a tired cliché. Much like Asbæk’s GOT character, Straker embraces cruelty. Asbæk should have no problem giving audiences a memorable performance.
Recent college graduate, Susan is the love interest of Salem’s Lot‘s primary hero, Ben. Leigh’s first significant role came playing Liza in the first season of Gotham, followed by playing babysitter Connie on the NBC miniseries The Slap. She also starred as Faison Zorn in the 2016 film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
Given the primary roles she has played, Leigh should fit the role of Susan beautifully. Strong and determined, Susan wants bigger and better things but doesn’t quite know how to get them. Leigh’s stint as Liza in Gotham shows she is capable of being both demure and assertive, necessary attributes to play the hen-picked girl who wants to escape small-town life.
Doctor Jimmy Cody is getting quite the makeover, as the originally male doctor is now being portrayed by Hollywood legend, Alfre Woodard. Starring opposite Jason Moama in See, some of Woodard’s past roles include Porter, 12 Years A Slave, Desperate Housewives, True Blood, and Annabelle.
Woodard should bring something fresh to her role as Dr. Cody, who was quick to set aside science for superstition while making some questionable decisions. Woodard, no stranger to horror, has a knack for making a character completely her own, and she tends to present her characters as strong and capable, which could help breathe new life into Dr. Cody.
Resourceful, clever, and brave, Mark is the only kid in town who knows what’s going on. Carter’s recent performance as Odi Peerless in DMZ is gaining a lot of attention for the rising star, with good reason. He also portrayed Quincy Jr in The Haves and the Have Nots and had roles in MacGyver, Uncle Joey, and his portrayal of young JJ in Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson.
Carter’s casting is a refreshing take on the character of Mark and his role as Odi on DMZ has a great deal in common with him, as both are intelligent boys in high-stress situations that require fast thinking and great instincts. Carter should put a fresh spin on a tired character.
Kurt Barlow is King’s modern-day Count Dracula, and he’s found a perfect host in William Sadler. Over the years, Sadler has played the good guy, the bad guy, and everyone in between, lately reprising his role as Death in Bill & Ted Face the Music. But where he might be most recognized is from his appearances in previous King adaptations: Heywood in The Shawshank Redemption and Klaus Detterick in The Green Mile.
Barlow is cunning, ruthless, and determined to make the world his feeding ground. Sadler has shown himself to be a man of many talents, and he will no doubt transform Barlow into a monster capable of giving even the most seasoned horror fan the shivers.
Ben is a man haunted by his past, coming home to start over only to be pulled into a story even he couldn’t have devised. Anyone following Amazon Prime’s Lost-like sci-fi/western drama, Outer Range, will recognize Pullman as rodeo star Rhett Abbott. Pullman gives a solid performance as the youngest son of rancher Royal Abbott, helping to keep the audience grounded even as the show spirals into the unknown.
With several smaller roles under his belt, it seems like a perfect time for Pullman to land this role. Ben’s character is capable, vulnerable, confused, and terrified all at once, which makes him difficult to nail down. Yet, these are all traits he shares with Pullman’s Outer Range character, Rhett, which he (mostly) nails with aplomb. There are moments in Outer Range where Pullman seems disconnected in a way that has nothing to do with the plot, and he will need to do away with that hesitation to pull off his role as Ben.
Next: 10 Stephen King Movie Adaptations That Left Out Book Scenes Too Outrageous For Film