Filmmaker Mike Flanagan hits cinemas this week with “Doctor Sleep,” the Stephen King adaptation that serves as a sequel to “The Shining” and marks Flanagan’s second King adaptation after the Netflix original film “Gerald’s Game”.
Between the two adaptations, Flanagan worked on another project – the anthology horror series “The Haunting of Hill House” which had a first season loosely inspired by the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name.
With ‘Sleep’ done, he’s now developing the second season of that series, “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” which before now we’ve been told will be a loose adaptation of Henry James’ gothic horror novella “The Turn of the Screw”. Speaking with Games Radar this week though, Flanagan says the series goes far beyond the one work by James:
“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/. ‘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 ‘Turn 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.’
That marks welcome news as ‘Turn of the Screw’ has been adapted multiple times, most famously as “The Innocents,” and a new film adaptation is hitting early next year in the Mackenzie Davis-led “The Turning”.
Many cast members from the first season are returning to the series in different roles.
“The Haunting of Bly Manor” will premiere in 2020 on Netflix.