Interview With The Creators Of ‘Chapelwaite,’ Peter Filardi, Jason Filardi and Donald De Line

‘Salem’s Lot is one of my favorite books by Stephen King, and the movie is just as equally as terrifying. It wasn’t until just recently that I found out there’s a prequel. The prequel, Jerusalem’s Lot, is a short story that first appeared in the 1975 illustrated edition of ‘Salem’s Lot, and found its home in the collection, Night Shift (1978). To celebrate the new made-for-television version of Jerusalem’s Lot, Chapelwaite, I spoke with writers and producers Peter Filardi and Jason Filardi, and producer Donald De Line, about how the show came about, and what it was like adapting a short story to a series.

PopHorror: Hello! Thank you so much for your time. So how did Chapelwaite come about?

Donald De Line: The first step in it was that I had been talking to Michael Wright at Epix, and he was looking to do something in the Gothic horror space. And I have an old friend, Rand Holston, who represents Stephen King. So I went over to his office and said, “What undiscovered treasures of Mr. King’s might there be?” and he handed me the short story. I went home and read it and fell in love with it. And Michael Wright introduced me to the brilliantly talented Filardi brothers, and we all started meeting and they responded in kind. The rest goes from there. 

PopHorror: I love it when things work out that way. What were the challenges of adapting a short story to a 10 episode series?

Peter Filardi: You can imagine there are many. You really have to expand in a lot of ways while holding true to the spirit and the themes of the original source material. And so, that’s the biggest challenge, I suppose. 

Jason Filardi: Yeah, and we’re all big Stephen King fans, so really the other biggest challenge is, “Man, let’s not disappoint this guy!” Nobody wants to disappoint him.

PopHorror: You don’t want to be that guy!

Jason Filardi: I don’t want to be that guy.

Donald De Line: Well, Peter, you’d been there before, right?

Peter Filardi: You mean I disappointed him before?

Donald De Line: No!

Jason Filardi: Twice!

Donald De Line: Worked with him!

Peter Filardi: I had, I had. Everybody’s right, it’s funny. It’s always an honor and a privilege to work on a Stephen King project. We all grew up just loving his work and have for so many years. It’s a treat, you know? He just creates such great characters and such interesting dynamics of this within a story and then just gives you so much to sort of launch off from.

PopHorror: He’s horror royalty. We all grew up with him. When you said that you were looking for something that hadn’t been done yet, so much of his stuff has been done, so I imagine that was a challenge in itself, just finding something that hadn’t been done and to breathe new life into it, which is amazing. What did you feel the actors brought to life in the series?

Donald De Line: Complexity. Adrian brought that complexity and just haunted quality to Charles Boone, but also just so much humanity in him and wanting to be that father and redeem the sins of his father. And Emily just being this smart, interesting, individualistic woman who was ahead of her time, and that’s so much Emily Hampshire. 

Jason Filardi: We had a wonderful actor named Christopher Heyerdahl, who plays Jakub, who  was ultimately our big, big bad guy, and he just came in and he just blew us away with his taped performance of Jakub. We were all in awe of this guy and every time he was doing his thing on set, it was just crickets. Everybody’s like, “Wow!” It was amazing.

Thank you so much, Peter and Jason Filardi, and Donald De Line, for taking the time to speak with us. The first episode of Chapelwaite premiers on Epix August 22, 2021.

About Tiffany Blem

Horror lover, dog mommy, book worm, EIC of PopHorror.

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