The Haunting of Hill House primarily revolves around themes of loss, but fans of Mike Flanagan’s series shouldn’t worry about the future of his show anytime soon.
With executive producer Trevor Macy on hand, Flanagan is developing a second season for Netflix called The Haunting of Bly Manor. While the show’s first outing drew inspiration from Shirley Jackson’s supernatural novel of the same name, season two will be based on a novella written by Henry James in 1898.
Known as one of the most influential ghost stories of all time, The Turn of the Screw explores what happens when spirits torment a British governess in charge of two siblings. The narrative deliberately plays around with notions of ambiguity, hinting that the unnamed protagonist may in fact be imagining these ghosts all along.
The Turn of the Screw inspired a whole host of adaptations before Flanagan eyed the story up for his latest TV project, including movies like The Innocents and The Others.
Given that The Turn of the Screw has absolutely nothing to do with Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House, it’s become clear that the show will now work as an anthology of sorts, exploring new stories in new settings each year.
Flanagan has confirmed this too, stating that the Crain family won’t return for another outing. As he’s mentioned before, the ending of season one was also the end of their story.
Because of this, it’s clear that The Haunting of Bly Manor won’t be directly connected to The Haunting of Hill House, at least in terms of story. However, that doesn’t mean the two won’t be linked in some other ways.
Aside from the obvious thematic parallels that both stories share, it’s entirely possible that members of the original cast will also return in different roles for season two. After all, American Horror Story has already proved that this approach can work within an anthology framework.
Flanagan also likes to work repeatedly with favourite performers including Carla Gugino (Olivia Crain) and his wife, Kate Siegel (Theodora Crain), so we’d be surprised if at least one or two familiar faces didn’t pop up in The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Along with these regular collaborators, Flanagan also likes to draw connections between his various projects through the use of Easter eggs. Longtime fans might have spotted hidden references for both Hush and Oculus in his adaptation of Gerald’s Game and there’s no reason why this tradition won’t continue in The Haunting of Bly Manor.
We already know how much Flanagan loves to hide ghosts in plain sight, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to include some of season one’s familiar spirits in season two. Perhaps the Bent-Neck lady can even pop by Bly Manor for a visit?
Whether The Haunting of Bly Manor includes some fun links to Hill House or not, we expect this second season will retain the creepy atmosphere and slow-burn scares of the first – and if Flanagan and his team can retain the high quality of the writing, then season two should be every bit as binge-able too.
The Haunting of Bly Manor will terrorise everyone on Netflix in 2020.
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