Elisabeth Moss is currently making headlines for her role in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The series, now on Season 2, features the plight of subjugated women in a far-off dystopia. Moss found accolades for portraying the titular Handmaid, Offred, an icon in female-lead sci-fi horror. Now it appears this isn’t the last icon in that genre she’ll play. According to Deadline, Moss will be portraying Shirley Jackson in the upcoming literary thriller, Shirley.

Shirley Jackson, as any good horror fan knows, is the author of The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery. Her work is considered some of the best writing of the 20th century, and her mark on the horror genre is nothing less than gargantuan.


Shirley adapts a novel of the same name by writer Susan Scarf Merrell. Shirley is a work of fiction, but it does use elements of Jackson’s real life. The novel centers around Jackson and her husband Stanley Hyman, who find new roommates in a young couple. Things start out fine for the young couple, but it’s not long before they go awry in a thoroughly Jackson-esque way. Underlining this is the real-life drama of Jackson and her husband’s relationship, both serving as inspiration for her own haunting tales.

Playing Jackson’s husband is Michael Stuhlbarg, who our readers might recognize form his fabulous performance in The Shape of Water. Josephine Decker of Madeline’s Madeline is currently attached to direct. Speaking on the subject of a Moss/Stuhlbarg combo, Decker said:

I can’t wait to witness Elisabeth Moss’ visceral inhabitation of Shirley’s beautiful tortured spirit and Michael Stuhlbarg’s unflinchingly charismatic-while-cruel Stanley.


No release date has been set for Shirley, but check Nightmare on Film Street for updates. You know we’ll have them.

Are you a fan of Shirley Jackson’s work? Have you read the novel by Susan Scarf Merrell?  You can let us know your answers on our Facebook page. Or if Twitter is more your thing, you can find us there too. We’ve got more Shirley Jackson fun here and here, and we bet that after this announcement, there will be a lot more on the way.


shirley jackson
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