Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) recently announced on twitter that he has wrapped filming on his 10 episode adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. Last April, Flanagan was selected by Netflix to write, direct, and executive produce the project. He already has a solid working relationship with Netflix, having directed Hush and Gerald’s Game for the streaming giant. In fact, Flanagan is bringing back his Gerald’s Game star, Carla Gugino, for an unspecified role in Haunting of Hill House. She will be joining previously announced cast members Michael Huisman, Timothy Hutton, and Annabeth Gish.
The Haunting of Hill House is one of the most (if not THE most) famous ghost stories of all time. Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel is a staple of horror fiction, and tells the eerie tale of a group of ordinary people gathered to explore the Crain mansion, long rumored to be haunted. The story’s main protagonist is Eleanor; a young, reserved woman who has always had a connection to paranormal phenomena. As the group’s investigation progresses, the horrifying events escalate until Eleanor and her companions question if she is losing her grip on reality. Of course, horror fans will be familiar with the two existing film adaptations, 1963’s iconic The Haunting and the infamous 1999 “remake” known more for it’s blunders than any positive attributes.
“That’s a wrap on THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. Cannot wait for you all to see what this amazing cast and crew created.
– Mike Flanagan via Twitter
The new adaptation will expand on the original novel, focusing more on the Crane (Crain, in the book) family’s sad and sordid history. Flanagan hopes that fans of Jackson’s work will be fine with the alterations, telling Digital Spy:
“It doesn’t span a 10-hour season of television…We had to make some changes to make it fit, but I think they’re all in the spirit of what she [Shirley Jackson] was doing, and I think fans of the book will be very excited.”
While Shirley Jackson has a large breadth of work to be mined, Hollywood has seemed to shy away from her oeuvre until very recently. The adaptation of We Have Always Lived in the Castle starring Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Sebastian Stan (I, Tonya) and Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D) has been in post-production since 2016 with no release date in sight. While Flanagan’s Haunting of Hill House seems to have a much more certain future, I sincerely hope that MANY more Jackson properties get brought to screens both big and small. Shirley Jackson’s insightful, poignant, bleak, and pointed looks at man’s foibles brings an introspection to horror that begs us to look inward at the ugliness inside. The real terror is the pain we inflict on each other; and beyond the supernatural elements of The Haunting of Hill House, I hope that Flanagan taps into those themes with his adaptation.
So far, no release date has been announced, except to say that it will drop some time in 2018.