What it would take for Haunting creator Mike Flanagan to make another season after Bly Manor
Last December, filmmaker and TV creator Mike Flanagan declared on social media that there were no current plans to revisit the Haunting anthology, which so far only includes sleeper hit The Haunting of Hill House and its spiritual successor, The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Speaking with EW ahead of the release of Midnight Mass, his new mystery box horror series with producer Trevor Macy (coming to Netflix this Sep. 24), Flanagan confirmed that is still the case. However, he also explained what it would take for the producing partners to return to that anthology.
"One of the things that defines the Haunting anthology for me is that both of them so far are about updating and riffing on existing classic literature," Flanagan said. "Midnight Mass was always so original and important and personal, it just never felt like it was ever going to be a part of that universe."
Hill House, premiering in 2018, was inspired by author Shirley Jackson's gothic horror novel The Haunting of Hill House. The season tracked the Crain family from two separate timelines: when they first moved to the Hill House manor and suffered through frightening supernatural events, and then years later as the surviving members grappled with the lingering trauma.
Bly Manor, inspired by Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, told a story of a young woman becoming a live-in nanny to two children at a spooky house in the U.K. Freaky things also ensued.
Another through line of Haunting, according to Macy, is the question, "What is a ghost?" In both Hill House and Bly Manor, Flanagan and his writer's room explored the idea of memories as ghosts.
"If the stars align in such a way that we decide to go back into the Haunting world, it would have to be so much on that track that we've set up," Flanagan said. "It would have to be with the right piece of IP, it would have to be with the right ghost-centric story, and it would have to really fit with Bly and Hill House."
In the meantime, Flanagan and Macy are still busy as ever making Netflix horror series — just not currently anything for Haunting. Still, Midnight Mass, starring Zach Gilford and Hamish Linklater, brings back a number of actors from Haunting.
Some of those names include Kate Siegel (Theo Crain on Hill House, Viola on Bly Manor), Rahul Kohli (Owen on Bly Manor), Alex Essoe (Charlotte Wingrave on Bly Manor), Annabeth Gish (Mrs. Dudley on Hill House), Robert Longstreet (Mr. Dudley on Hill House), Samantha Sloyan (Leigh Crain on Hill House), and Henry Thomas (Hugh Crain on Hill House, Henry Wingrave on Bly Manor).
"[Midnight Mass] always clearly existed in its own world. I think it's fun for us to bring back people we like to collaborate with, but those collaborations predate and will continue to exist long after Haunting," Flanagan says.