'Haunting of Hill House' Season 2 More Than 'Turn of the Screw,' Says Director Mike Flanagan

While The Haunting of Hill House Season 2, The Haunting of Bly Manor, is based on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw, director Mike Flanagan said it will also fold in elements from other ghost stories by the turn of the century author.

Speaking with Birth.Movies.Death., Flanagan described how The Haunting of Bly Manor will expand on the Turn of the Screw story, separating the upcoming season from more straightforward adaptations of the landmark ghost story, like 1961's The Innocents, co-written by Truman Capote.

"We're looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season, so it very much is a whole new deal," Flanagan said. "It's a cool way to expand on some of the things I loved about season one, but within the framework of a new story, without having to be restrained by the decisions we made last time. For Henry James fans, it's going to be pretty wild, and for people who aren't familiar with his work, it's going to be unbelievably scary. I already think it's much scarier than season one, so I'm very excited about it."

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"The Haunting of Bly Manor" will premiere on Netflix in 2020. Netflix

While The Haunting of Bly Manor will be a brand new narrative, the new season still shares some of the same cast as Haunting of Hill House, including Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played Nell and Luke Crain.

In The Haunting of Bly Manor, Pedretti plays Dani, a governess to two creepy children. In The Turn of the Screw, the governess fears her wards have fallen under the influence of the ghosts of two deceased employees of the country estate, though it's possible Flanagan could take the narrative in different directions, particularly if other James ghost stories are included.

A prolific literary critic and author of novels and short stories, James has several ghost stories that could factor into The Haunting of Bly Manor. In his short story "The Jolly Corner," a man returns to his childhood home after decades abroad, and becomes convinced the building is haunted by the ghost of the man he would have become had he not left New York. In "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes," a widower is tasked with protecting a chest of dresses from his dead wife's sister. In "The Real Right Thing," a ghost tries to stop those he left behind from writing a biography of him.

Other James short stories may not be traditional ghost stories, but fit closely with the themes found in the first Haunting of Hill House, such as the predestination embodied in Nell's haunting by the Bent-Neck Lady or the way haunted houses preserve the past. Stories and novellas like "The Altar of the Dead" and "The Beast in the Jungle," James may not employ ghosts, but could still have substantial influence on The Haunting of Bly Manor.

"We're having an enormous amount of fun talking about how to take some of the ideas from season one about hidden ghosts and things like that, and find new gears for them this time. It'll be the same type of story, and we'll treat the ghosts very much the same way," Flanagan said.

'Haunting of Hill House' Season 2 More Than 'Turn of the Screw,' Says Director Mike Flanagan | Newsgeek