‘Hill House’ Creator Explains Why New Series ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ Isn’t ‘Haunting of the House of Usher’

“‘The Haunting’ is like this sad, sweeping violin ballad and this is like rock and roll. This thing is adrenaline,” Mike Flanagan tells TheWrap

The Fall of the House of Usher Mike Flanagan Haunting of Hill House
Courtesy of Amazon/Netflix

Mike Flanagan launched his most recent Netflix series, “Midnight Mass,” just over a month ago and he’s already swamped with final edits on his next, “Midnight Club,” and deep into writing the one after that, a limited series adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

But Flanagan junkies are still jonesing for more of his “The Haunting” franchise. So much so that when “The Fall of the House of Usher” was ordered to series last month at Netflix, where Flanagan and his producing partner Trevor Macy have an overall deal, there were fans who wondered why it wasn’t just greenlit as the third installment of the anthology that includes “The Haunting of Hill House” and followup “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” because those shows were also based on stories about creepy homes written by horror authors.

Plus, “House” is right there in the title, too, so it could have been “The Haunting of the House of Usher.”

“I can tell you the biggest reason,” Flanagan said during a Zoom interview with TheWrap from his office on Thursday, where it was clear just how busy he is with “Midnight Club” and “House of Usher” work. “So for it be a ‘Haunting,’ it says that it’s about ghosts, right? And Poe wasn’t really about ghosts. And ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’ specifically, is not about ghosts. So the biggest thing is that there just isn’t really a haunting.”

OK, fair enough, Flanagan.

“Outside of that, the more boring answers are that we were developing this as a standalone anyway, that it was really always kind of outside of that universe,” Flanagan said. “But I understand why people are definitely kind of clamoring for that word to be part of it.”

The “Midnight Mass” mastermind said that when you see “The Fall of the House of Usher,” which does not yet have a premiere date, let alone a cast attached to it, “you’ll see it is not at all of the DNA of the ‘Haunting’ series.”

“It’s very much its own thing tonally, thematically. It’s something we’ve actually never done before,” Flanagan told TheWrap. “And so it felt like we would be limiting it, in an unfortunate way, if we tried to shove it into that ‘Haunting’ shoebox. It very much is its own crazy, over-the-top, insane, beautiful, macabre, just wicked thing that is so different.”

He continued: “I think when people see it, it’ll become clear, very fast that it’s like, ‘Oh, this is NOT the “Haunting.” ‘The Haunting’ is like this sad, sweeping violin ballad and this is like rock and roll. This thing is adrenaline. So I think people will be able to see the difference pretty fast. But I very much appreciate the question, and I love that people still have an appetite for ‘The Haunting.’ That makes me happy.”

Still, Flanagan will “never say never” to more of “The Haunting.” But there is a but, of course.

“For all I know, there’ll be another chance to kind of go back into that world,” he said. “I just don’t see it right now. And there are too many things kind of stacked in line waiting to go. But if the right thing comes along and the stars aligned for it, we’re always going to be wide open to going back there. I also want to make sure it’s the right thing, though. I don’t want to go back just to go back and not have something new to say. I want to make sure that it’s for the right reasons. The thing I’d hate to do is go back and give everybody a third season of ‘The Haunting’ and have them hate it.”