Prolific TV episodic director Michael Uppendahl (American Horror Story, Mad Men) has landed his first pilot gig. Uppendahl has been tapped to helm the first episode of Hulu’s upcoming psychological-horror straight-to-series drama Castle Rock, from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. Uppendahl also will be a co-executive producer on the series, which hails from Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV, serving as the show’s producing director.
Helming a pilot or a first episode is the top directing assignment in television because it sets the visual style and tone of a series.
A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland.
Developed for television by Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, the series stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgård, Jane Levy and Sissy Spacek.
Shaw and Thomason serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer. Castle Rock reunites Uppendahl with Shaw and Thomason. Uppendahl directed two episodes of WGN America’s Manhattan, created by Shaw and executive produced by Shaw and Thomason.
Uppendahl has directed numerous episodes of several high-profile drama series, including 11 of Mad Men, nine of American Horror Story, six of Ray Donovan, five of Fargo and three of Legion. He’s repped by Industry Entertainment Partners.