It’s a good year for Shirley Jackson adaptations, it seems.
Along with a film adaptation of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is set to star American Horror Story‘s Taissa Farmiga and Captain America‘s Sebastian Stan, The Haunting of Hill House is getting brought to our screens. According to IMDB, a year from now we’ll be seeing the first season. This new adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s famous novel is set to premiere in 2018. There’s already a slot on Netflix for it and everything!
This isn’t the first time this novel has been brought to the screen. Two other adaptations of Jackson’s novel have been made, both times being renamed to The Haunting. In 1963, Robert Wise brought us an adaptation that starred Julie Harris as the neurotic Eleanor, Claire Bloom as the bohemian artist Theodora, and Richard Johnson as the doctor who brings them together for a study in paranormal activity. In 1999, we got another big-screen adaptation of the novel, this time with Jan de Bont at the helm. This film starred Catherine Zeta-Jones as Theodora, Lili Taylor as Eleanor, and Liam Neeson as the doctor, this time bringing the group together under the pretense of a sleep study. While the 1963 version is revered as a horror classic, the 1999 version is most often remembered as a dud, distinguishable only for its mediocre CGI effects and hokey plot.
The series is set to depart considerably from the novel. Instead of focusing on the group uncovering paranormal events in the house, the new series will focus on the Crane family (spelled ‘Crain’ in the novel). In the novel, the backstory of the Crain family was revealed over the course of the book. The tragic history of Hugh Crain, his wives’ mysterious deaths, and the possibility that their spirits remained in the house was very much a part of the story of both the book and both films.
In the Netflix series, the Crane family will apparently be the center focus, specifically Steven Crane, a horror novelist played by Orphan Black and Game of Thrones’ Michael Huisman. Along with Huisman, the series is also set to feature The X-Files’ Annabeth Gish, Gifted‘s McKenna Grace, and Leverage’s Timothy Hutton.