If you thought the Red Room was Peak Horror TV, then you’ve got another thing coming, because “The Haunting of Hill House” creator Mike Flanagan says he thinks “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” the second chapter in his Netflix anthology series, is “much scarier” than the first.
“We’re looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season, so it very much is a whole new deal,” Flanagan told BirthMoviesDeath.com in an interview published Monday. “It’s a cool way to expand on some of the things I loved about Season 1, but within the framework of a new story, without having to be restrained by the decisions we made last time. For Henry James fans, it’s going to be pretty wild, and for people who aren’t familiar with his work, it’s going to be unbelievably scary. I already think it’s much scarier than season one, so I’m very excited about it.”
Now dubbed the “Haunting” anthology, the show’s 10-episode first season, “Hill House,” launched last October and centered around the Crain family: father Hugh (older version played by Timothy Hutton, younger version portrayed by Henry Thomas), mother Olivia (Carla Gugino), and their children, Steve (Michiel Huisman), Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser), Theo (Kate Siegel), Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and Nellie (Victoria Pedretti).
The story follows the events that transpired during the one summer the Crains lived in the titular haunted home and their lives decades after leaving Hill House due to a tragic incident.
While “Hill House” is an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 gothic novel of the same name, when Netflix renewed the series for Season 2 back in February, the streaming service revealed the next installment would be “a new story with all new characters” titled “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” based on Henry James’ 1898 horror novella, “The Turn of the Screw.”
As TheWrap previously reported, “Bly Manor” — which is set to launch in 2020 — stars “Hill House” alums Pedretti and Jackson-Cohen. But we don’t know the rest of the cast members yet.
“We’re hanging the season on Victoria Pedretti [starring as governess Dani] and Oliver Jackson-Cohen [playing a “charming fellow” named Peter], and in addition to them, there are going to be other familiar actors from season one,” Flanagan told BirthMoviesDeath. “Beyond that, I’ve got quite a few candidates among new faces who I really love, but we haven’t formally cast anybody yet.”
Flanagan told the site he is also set on maintain an “old-school approach” when it comes to haunting Bly Manor with ghosts, the same way he haunted Hill House.
“In particular, we’re having an enormous amount of fun talking about how to take some of the ideas from season one about hidden ghosts and things like that, and find new gears for them this time,” he said. “It’ll be the same type of story, and we’ll treat the ghosts very much the same way.”