The Haunting of Hill House series creator Mike Flanagan has packed up the moving van and shuffled off to another haunted home for the series' second season, which is actually more like its own series in that it tells a tale apart from the first season's terrors. Based on Henry James' 1898 psychological gothic horror novella "The Turn of the Screw", The Haunting of Bly Manor is set to arrive this fall, and now we have a look at the first official poster as well as more details on the cast and story.
In the story, a young woman who cares for two orphans in the English countryside finds herself confronted with things that just can't be explained. But as producer Trevor Macy explains to VF, the writing team was able to dive into more than just "Screw" for this season, including "The Jolly Corner" and "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes": "The process is the same, in that it's a literary remix," Macy said. "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 "Scew" adaptation The Innocents since it has a "huge, huge influence" this season).
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 (hmmm…).
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."