Horror director Mike Flanagan talks about handling his first TV adaptation and approaching the classic source material as a “remix.”
As Mike Flanagan worked on his take on the classic tale The Haunting of Hill House, he felt a specter looking over his shoulder: the ghost of Shirley Jackson. The writer and director responsible for films like Oculus, Hush, Gerald’s Game, and the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep is a natural horror buff, especially of Jackson’s original work.
“I loved the book since I was a kid,” Flanagan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve equally loved Robert Wise’s [film] adaptation.” Finding it a fool’s errand to try to reinvent the wheel, when he was approached to do a televised take on the story, he chose to take it in a completely different direction. Gone is the plot of four adults investigating paranormal activities, now substituted by a family of seven helplessly besieged by the titular house and its mysterious allure, even decades after the fact.
Flanagan talks with THR about the methodology behind his adaptation, including the thinking behind his fractured timeline, the “Bent Neck Lady” and the “Red Room,” as well as how the first season was initially supposed to end.