The Haunting of Bly Manor season 3: Mike Flanagan addresses Netflix show's future
Showrunner Mike Flanagan weighs in on whether there'll be further chapters of the Netflix horror anthology.
Jennifer BissetFormer Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
ExpertiseFilm and TVCredentials
Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
If you've binged
The Haunting of Bly Manor and The Haunting of Hill House, you're probably keen to wrap yourself in another beautifully tragic horror show. While it's early days for any updates on the next "season" of the anthology, showrunner Mike Flanagan has weighed in on whether he'll come up with another chapter.
The news isn't great for The Haunting fans. "At the moment there are no plans for more chapters," Flanagan tweeted this week. "Never say never, of course, but right now we are focused on a full slate of other @intrepid projects for 2021 and beyond. If things change we will absolutely let everyone know!"
Intrepid Pictures is the production company Flanagan runs. The company inked a deal with Netflix to generate TV series, and Flanagan is currently busy making Netflix series Midnight Mass, another horror show featuring actors he's worked with on The Haunting of Bly Manor and Hill House.
Is there still hope for a new The Haunting chapter? Here's everything we know about Flanagan's upcoming projects.
Prepare to be patient: It took two years for Bly Manor to arrive after Hill House in 2018 and, judging by Flanagan's hectic schedule, it might take even longer for the next installment.
Flanagan tweeted in August the first day of production on his current Netflix project, Midnight Mass, had kicked off. The seven-episode horror series, likely to hit Netflix in 2021, is set in an isolated island community and will feature Hill House and Bly Manor actors Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli and Henry Thomas.
But at least that'll tide us over until Flanagan's next project: Revival, a Warner Bros. adaptation of the Stephen King novel by the same name. It might be even darker, with themes like addiction and the afterlife. There's no production start date yet, but it'll likely begin sometime in 2021 after Flanagan wraps Midnight Mass.
Flanagan has a deal with Netflix to develop multiple projects and, in May, it was announced he's also working on an adaptation of Christopher Pike young adult novel The Midnight Club (no word on a shooting start date yet). Flanagan will squeeze on the showrunner's cap, creating and producing the project.
A third installment of Haunting should be on its way, but with Flanagan's busy schedule, production could start as late as 2022.
The timing could also depend on Flanagan's directing duties. While Flanagan is directing all episodes of Midnight Mass, it hasn't been announced yet whether he'll direct Revival in 2021. If he chooses not to, that might free him up to get started on season 3 of the Haunting.
We can also add his directing involvement in season 3 to the timing speculation: Flanagan directed all episodes of Hill House, but only the first of Bly Manor.
Each installment of the Haunting anthology is a reimagining of a famous ghost story. Hill House drew from Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor is based on Henry James ghost stories including 1898 novella The Turn of The Screw.
What ghost story will Flanagan adapt next? He doesn't know yet, but just like with the first two installments, he'll continue to explore what it means to be a ghost.
"A ghost is an impact from the past on the present in every ghost story," Flanagan told EW in October. "That's all it really is, no matter how you dress it up. A ghost is simply an element of the past that refuses to live in the past and instead just encroaches upon the present that it alters the present. It changes the trajectory of the person who's experiencing that little piece of the past… That link between memory and ghosts and between ghosts and the past, that is the lifeblood of the show."
"I feel like there's no shortage of ghosts in the world for all of us," he continued. "So, if we could find some common language with which to talk about them, then that's something we always aspire to do this season or beyond, if that's the way it goes."
The cast want to return
If the Haunting anthology takes the American Horror Story route, it'll keep reusing cast members for different roles in each season's unconnected story.
Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino and Henry Thomas all played roles in both Hill House and Bly Manor, so there's a decent chance Flanagan will continue to collaborate with them.
But it's still too early to say.
"I don't really know anything about future seasons," Pedretti, who played Hill House's Nell and Bly Manor's au pair Dani Clayton, told The Wrap in October.
Jackson-Cohen, who played Hill House's Luke and Bly Manor's Peter Quint, said he'd be keen to work with Flanagan again.
"I think that it's one of those where, if Bly Manor does well, then I'm sure conversations will happen with Netflix," he told The Wrap. "But it's entirely up to Mike and entirely up to what ideas he's got up his sleeve. But I think all of us would definitely collaborate and work with him again, if the opportunity arose. But there is genuinely nothing concrete as of now."
New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More