DEN OF GEEK – The mother of almost all ghost stories is coming to Netflix with a TV series adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 horror novel The Haunting of Hill House, which happens to be one of Stephen King’s favorite books. It was made into a classic piece of early 1960s cinema (and a 1990s remake), and will soon arrive at Netflix in a modernized form.
The Haunting of Hill House will arrive on Netflix in a 10-episode form, written, produced, and directed by Mike Flanagan, who directed Oculus, Hush and will adapt King’s Gerald’s Game into a movie. Flanagan will produce with his producing partner Trevor Macy for Amblin TV and Paramount TV.
Timothy Hutton joins The Haunting of Hill House as a lead actor, reports Deadline. While his character was not named, it is believed (but not confirmed,) that Hutton will portray the patriarch of the haunted house-owning Crane family, married to Carla Gugino’s matriarchal character.
Hutton came into prominence early in his career, winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1981 for his role in director Robert Redford’s drama Ordinary People. He’s appeared in films such as Taps, Iceman, Made in Heaven, French Kiss, Kinsey, Secret Window and The Good Shepherd. However, later generations know him better as a TV mainstay with notable runs on American Crime and a longtime run as the mastermind of the justice-delivering rogues of Leverage.
The Haunting of Hill House Cast
Michiel Huisman has been tapped to star in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, reports THR. In a revelation that may shed light on the context of this reboot series, Huisman will play a character named Steven Crane, a published author of supernatural-related books and the oldest living sibling of the Crane family. The Netherlands-native is best known for his role on HBO’s Game of Thrones as Daario Naharis. Besides roles in his native country, Huisman was notably seen in recurring roles on Orphan Black, Nashville, Treme, and miniseries Harley and the Davidsons, as well as films such as 2015’s The Age of Adaline and 2017’s The Ottoman Lieutenant. He has quite a full docket of film roles, notably in director Gideon Raff’s historical spy thriller Red Sea Diving Resort, which stars Chris Evans.
Carla Gugino, who was featured in the films San Andreas, Sin City, American Gangster, Watchmen, Spy Kids and the TV series Wayward Pines, Entourage and Roadie, is the female lead. Gugino recently shot Flanagan’s upcoming feature adaptation of Stephen King’s sadomasochistic game play novel Gerald’s Game for Netflix.
The producers are keeping most of the character information under wraps.
The Haunting of Hill House Story
The Haunting of Hill House has been made into two feature films that carry the shortened title “The Haunting.” The first one, released in 1963, was written by Nelson Gidding and directed and produced by Robert Wise. It starred Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Riff from West Side Story, Russ Tamblyn. The 1999 remake from Speed director Jan de Bont and screenwriter David Self – widely considered a dud – starred Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson and Lili Taylor. The story was also parodied in 2001’s Scary Movie 2 and adapted for the stage and performed at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2015.
The book centers around Hill House investigators Dr. Montague, who is an occult scholar looking for something more tangible than book smarts; his assistant Theodora; a ghost whisperer named Eleanor, and the young, rich heir who will be stuck with the haunted real estate Luke. They think they’re looking for ghosts, but the house is looking for them.
In Shirley Jackson’s original 1959 novel, as well as the 1963 and 1999 film adaptations – both billed as The Haunting – the legacy of the “Crain” family was connected to the titular haunted house. In the case of the 1999 film, the late Crain patriarch explicitly manifested as a ghost.
Jackson’s novel is more of a story of terror than of horror. It ties the events that make for a haunting of a house into the psyches of the people investigating it.
Normally, paranormal investigators don’t quite have the diabolical fun and frights that find their way into film and TV shots.
“Having done several Paranormal Investigations, I have yet to encounter anything like this,” Brenda Jablonsky, a paranormal investigator from Indiana who will host the upcoming podcast “Crimes Against Spirit,” told Den of Geek.
The normal routine for a supernatural sleuth is a lot of hurry up and waiting. That’s not necessarily true for people how live in haunted houses.
“I thought I was buying my wife her dream home,” Philip Siracusa, the author of The Horsefly Chronicles: A Demonic Haunting, told Den of Geek. “I didn’t know I was buying my family a nightmare.”
The allegedly haunted house in Pennsylvania is said to sit on an desecrated burial ground, and the spirits are still hungry.
“These days when I cook I make one meal for my family, another one for my ancestors and a third one for the Indians,” Julia Siracusa, who lived in the house so long she goes by the nickname “the real haunted housewife,” added.
While the Horsefly house hasn’t gotten quite the reputation of the hauntings at the center of films like Poltergeist and The Conjuring, investigators still think twice before knocking three times.
“My friend Juila [Siracusa] invited me to visit her real haunted house and I am such a chicken shit medium that I asked her to check and see if their family ghost/demon said it was okay,” admitted Marie Bargas, a celebrity psychic who was recently tapped to investigate the house.
But what do the strange amateur sleuths think of the film?
“A remake of this movie would be interesting to see a hard to stop watching kind waiting for the next shoe to drop,” said Brenda. “I found the original suspenseful and exciting ,with the technology of today I think it would be a great show to see. As a fan of horror movies it will be a block buster.”
The Haunting of Hill House will be the first time Netflix has worked up a scripted series for Amblin TV. It is the series the rising channel has done for Paramount TV. They previously worked together to bring out 13 Reasons Why and the upcoming Maniac, which stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill.
The Haunting of Hill House is still in the early stages of development.