The Haunting Creator, Producer on Journey from Hill House to Bly Manor

With Netflix's The Haunting of Bly Manor ready to unveil a season of smart thrills-n-chills guaranteed to raise the hair on the backs of our necks, series creator Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy are taking viewers behind the scenes to show how the series made the journey from 2018's Hill House to its second-season zip code. This season offers a take on author Henry James' 1898 psychological gothic horror novella "The Turn of the Screw" (along with some twists and additional influences in the mix), in which a young woman who cares for two orphans in the English countryside finds herself confronted with things that just can't be explained.

THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (L to R) AMELIE SMITH as FLORA and VICTORIA PEDRETTI as DANI in THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020)

Set to premiere on the streaming service on October 9th, here's your look at Netflix's The Haunting of Bly Manor:

From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy comes THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, the next highly anticipated chapter of The Haunting anthology series, set in 1980s England. After an au pair's tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who reside at Bly Manor with the estate's chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Amelia Eve) and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose (T'Nia Miller). But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn't mean gone.

Producing partners Flanagan and Macy drew from the iconic supernatural stories of Henry James, to create the ensemble drama which also stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, and Tahirah Sharif. The series is executive produced by Flanagan and Macy for Intrepid Pictures, along with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey for Amblin Television.

Macy recently revealed that the writing team was able to dive into more than just James' "Screw" for inspiration this season, also including "The Jolly Corner" and "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes" in the mix. "The process is the same, in that it's a literary remix," Macy explained. "You want to update the story, you want to find whatever fertile ground for elevating the character that you can in the source material, but we obviously took some liberties in updating it with a more modern setting" (and you might want to check out 1961 "Screw" adaptation The Innocents since it has a "huge, huge influence" this season).

THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020)
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR (Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020)

With the list of directors for The Haunting of Bly Manor including Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling (Cargo), Ciarán Foy (Citadel, Sinister 2, Eli), Liam Gavin (A Dark Song), and Axelle Carolyn (Tales of Halloween: "Grim Grinning Ghost"), the interview also included more details on some of this season's characters. Taking place mostly in 1987, the season finds Victoria Pedretti as American tutor Dani Clayton, who hopes for a new start caring for the Wingrave children: Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith). Kate Siegel has been cast in a still-unrevealed role; while Oliver Jackson-Cohen portrays not-so-nice Peter Quint, who we have a feeling is going to learn to respect Bly Manor the hard way. Henry Thomas portrays Henry Wingrave, the wealthy uncle of the two orphaned children who is more than happy to support the kids from as far away as possible (never a good sign).

THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020
THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020

We also have Amelia Eve as groundskeeper Jamie and Rahul Kohli as chef Owen- both seemingly fine within the confines of the manor. Joining them are Tahirah Sharif's previous governess Rebecca Jessel and T'Nia Miller's manor manager Hannah Grose. As for the theme, Flanagan makes it clear that the season will be more about "tragic romance" than family trauma. "It certainly provides a new way to tell a love story, and there are three of them really that beat at the heart of this season," Flanagan said. "They all have a very dark edge to them. And by the end, it's really hard to differentiate tragedy with romance. That sense of romantic longing for someone who meant so much to us—but who's gone—really is the heart of any ghost story."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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