The Haunting of Bly Manor to adapt dozens of Henry James stories
Doctor Sleep helmer Mike Flanagan made waves with his Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House in October of last year. Now he’s busy developing the second series, entitled The Haunting of Bly Manor, and has revealed that the season will adapt more than just Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw,” but actually dozens of his horror stories, according to Games Radar.
“The thing I have access to, that no other adaptation of ‘The Turn of to the Screw’ has, is the rest of Henry James’ ghost stories. I get to use all of them,” Flanagan said. “‘The Turn of the Screw’ has been adapted so many times. We know how perfectly it fits into a feature film format. We’re doing a whole season of television. I think of ‘Turning of the Screw’ as the backbone of this season – the through line that carries us from beginning to end. But we get to go off into ‘The Jolly Corner’ and ‘The Romance of Certain Old Clothes,’ and so many other of these wonderful ghost stories that people haven’t seen adapted before. It’s all wrapped up in what seems to be familiar, but that familiarity goes away really early in the first episode. It says, ‘We’re off on a whole other road.'”
Though many cast members from the first season are returning to the series, Flanagan assures that they will be returning in different roles, having ensured that “we told that story to its conclusion in the first season” and that “I didn’t want to cynically repeat ourselves, and the actors didn’t want to either.”
“This frees us up because, in theory, in this anthology format, every season can be its own exploration of another classic piece of horror literature,” Flanagan said. “Actors can stay or go depending on their preference and their availability. That opens it up to new cast and new chances for existing actors. I love that format. It would be quite a disappointment to have to revisit the Cranes. It would rob them of the closure they got at the end of that season.”
The Haunting of Bly Manor is inspired by Henry James’ psychological gothic horror novella The Turn of The Screw, which takes place almost entirely in an old country mansion. There, two young orphans are looked after by a young governess by whom most of the story is narrated by.
Ainsworth and Smith have signed on to star as Miles and Flora from James’ novella, while Miller, Eve and Kohli are set to star in lead roles.
A modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s iconic novel of the same name, The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 explored a group of siblings who, as children, grew up in what would go on to become the most famous haunted house in the country. Now adults, and forced back together in the face of tragedy, the family must finally confront the ghosts of their past — some of which still lurk in their minds while others may actually be stalking the shadows of Hill House. Created, directed and executive-produced by horror mastermind Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game), The Haunting of Hill House is a complex family drama wrapped in a chilling horror story. Trevor Macy served as executive producer alongside Flanagan. Meredith Averill acts as co-showrunner and executive producer. Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank executive produce, as well.
The Haunting of Hill House is written, directed and executive produced by Flanagan. His producing partner Trevor Macy will also executive produce alongside Amblin TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.
The Haunting of Bly Manor will premiere in 2020 on Netflix.