The Haunting of Bly Manor, the second season of The Haunting of Hill House, is taking its main inspiration from Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. But according to creator Mike Flanagan, Screw will be just one of several Henry James ghost stories Bly Manor will draw from. In fact, Flanagan says that Turn of the Screw is “one of a dozen stories” that the new season will tell.
There have been more than a few adaptations of The Turn of the Screw. Most notable is the 1961 chiller The Innocents. In 2020, we’re going to get not one but two different takes. One is The Turning, a movie starring Mackenzie Davis. The other is The Haunting of Bly Manor, the second season of The Haunting of Hill House. But while The Turning will be using Turn of the Screw as its only source material, Bly Manor is branching out a bit.
Mike Flanagan previously confirmed that Bly Manor would be “looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season,” and now he’s elaborated on that a bit more. “The thing I have access to, that no other adaptation of The Turn of to the Screw has, is the rest of Henry James’ ghost stories. I get to use all of them,” Flanagan told Games Radar. “The Turn of the Screw has been adapted so many times. We know how perfectly it fits into a feature film format. We’re doing a whole season of television. The Turn of the Screw is only one of a dozen stories that we’re telling. All Henry James; all thematically linked.”
“I think of Turning of the Screw as the backbone of this season – the through line that carries us from beginning to end. But we get to go off into The Jolly Corner and The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, and so many other of these wonderful ghost stories that people haven’t seen adapted before. It’s all wrapped up in what seems to be familiar, but that familiarity goes away really early in the first episode. It says, ‘We’re off on a whole other road.’”
The Turn of the Screw deals with a governess hired to watch over two orphaned children in a sprawling estate that may or may not be haunted. The Jolly Corner follows a man visiting the house he grew up in and finds it to be haunted by his own alter ego. And The Romance of Certain Old Clothes follows the tale of two sisters who both fall in love with the same man, which leads to ghostly complications.
In The Haunting of Bly Manor, Hill House breakout Victoria Pedretti plays a governess named Dani, who is tasked with caring for two “very unusual children.” There’s no premiere date for Bly Manor yet, but it’s expected to arrive sometime in 2020.
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