Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has halted production on many (many) TV shows and movie. However, the creators of The Haunting of Hill House season 2 have confirmed that we should not expect a delay to their spooky show. Thanks to Netflix preparing content months in advance of being released, the new series will reach the streaming service as scheduled – just when exactly that release date is remains to be seen.
Before The Haunting of Hill House season 2 arrives, there's still a lot to learn about what's to come. In fact, the new season won't be called The Haunting of House House at all, but instead The Haunting of Bly Manor. Why? Because this is actually an anthology series and the next chapter will not feature any of the Crains at all. Instead, Mike Flanagan is adapting Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. For more – including exclusive quotes from Flanagan – then read on... if you dare.
The Haunting of Hill House season 2 release date – when can we expect The Haunting of Bly Manor?
All we know, so far, is that The Haunting of Hill House season 2 – better known as The Haunting of Bly Manor – is coming in 2020. When exactly this year? We really have very few hints. The Haunting of Hill House was released on Netflix in October – and many fans expect the second series to be released by the streaming service around the same time, perhaps even on Halloween itself.
What we do know, is that the series has wrapped production, as showrunner Mike Flanagan congratulated the cast and crew on Twitter. He later confirmed that post-production has not yet been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, writing: "[we're] still on schedule, we wrapped before the shutdown and post-production has carried on from home.
"The show is shaping up wonderfully, I'm thrilled with it. At the moment no reason to think it'll be pushed. Netflix will announce the release date when they're ready." In a later tweet, Flanagan reaffirmed that we can certainly expect the new series in 2020.
Going great. Still on schedule, we wrapped before the shutdown and post production has carrying on from home. The show is shaping up wonderfully, I'm thrilled with it. At the moment no reason to think it'll be pushed. @netflix will announce the release date when they're ready.April 21, 2020
Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who played Luke Crain in season 1 and returns for Bly Manor in a different role, has teased the upcoming series. "The hard thing is, is The Haunting of Hill House was – this makes me sound like arrogant – such a brilliant show," he said. "I really loved it. It was such an incredible story, what Mike had done. And so the hard thing was, how's he going to kind of make a second one and it be equally as brilliant?
"And he has, which is just phenomenal. We finished shooting. ...I left The Invisible Man shoot to go and start on Bly Manor, and it's quite the story. He's so clever, Mike Flanagan."
The Haunting of Hill House season 2's title meaning
Wave goodbye to Steve, Shirley, Theo, Nell, and Luke, because The Haunting of Hill House season 2 will centre on The Haunting of Bly Manor. As revealed in the above Instagram post, we can expect all-new characters (but not an all-new cast – more on that later).
That voice you're hearing in the above teaser? “The terrace and the whole place, the lawn and the garden beyond it, all I could see of the park, were empty with a great emptiness,” is a quote from chapter four of The Turn of the Screw, the horror novella by Henry James set in the English estate of Bly Manor.
The Turn of the Screw, on which the new series is based, tells the story of a governess who moves to Bly Manor to take care of a man’s niece and nephew – Miles and Flora – after their parents died. Things turn sour when the governess starts to see ghosts of the previous governess Miss Jessel and her lover Peter Quint around the property. As to now spoil anything about the novel's ending, just know that the debates rage on in literary circles about its ambiguity.
However, while the series will be predominantly based The Turning of the Screw, Flanagan has told GamesRadar+ that the new series will also take in aspects of other stories by Henry James. "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," he said. "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.'"
Flanagan added that there's "no upside" to doing a straight adaptation of Turn of the Screw. "It’s been really exciting to have this much bigger canvas, because you're not going to do better than The Innocents anyway," he continues, referencing the 1961 movie based on the same novel.
The Haunting of Hill House season 2 cast and directors
Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti, who played Luke Crain and his younger twin Nell in the first season of The Haunting of Hill House, are back! Yes, despite the series being an anthology, the pair will be returning. However, they will be playing different characters.
Netflix has revealed that Jackson-Cohen will play someone named Peter, “a resident of Bly Manor, who makes life very difficult for everyone who lives there.” Pedretti will play the governess, Dani, who "looks after two very unusual children." The actress announced the news in an instagram video, which you can watch below.
Nellie Crain may be gone, but Victoria Pedretti is returning to the Haunting universe in The Haunting of Bly Manor coming 2020! pic.twitter.com/uWoB5zdxKxJune 28, 2019
Pedretti later told Nylon in an interview: "I'm really excited about it. In some ways, it is [more intense] than season one. It's its own thing. Even though it's the second season of a show that I've been in before, almost everything is different."
Speaking to GamesRadar+, series creator Mike Flanagan spoke about recasting the same actors in new roles. "It will be a totally new story," Flanagan confirmed when asked about bringing them back. "It was important to me that we told that story to its conclusion in the first season. I didn't want to cynically repeat ourselves, and the actors didn’t want to either.
"This frees us up because, in theory, in this anthology format, every season can be its own exploration of another classic piece of horror literature. Actors can stay or go depending on their preference and their availability. That opens it up to new cast and new chances for existing actors. I love that format. It would be quite a disappointment to have to revisit the Cranes. It would rob them of the closure they got at the end of that season."
With regards who will be directing season 2, Flanagan, who directed all episodes of season 1, will be handing the torch to a bunch of new horror directors. He wrote on twitter that Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling (Netflix's Cargo), Ciarán Foy (Sinister 2), Liam Gavin (A Dark Song), and Axelle Carolyn (Tales of Halloween) will all helm episodes.
I’m really excited to be collaborating with some of my favorite filmmakers on THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling, Ciarán Foy, Liam Gavin, and Axelle Carolyn are all directing episodes. @Yolanda_Ramke @BenHowlingFilm @citadelfoy @LiamGavin @AxelleCarolynOctober 3, 2019
That's about all we know about the secretive The Haunting of Hill House season 2. However, if you're looking for more terrifying tales from Flanagan then you're in luck. He has a new Netflix series, titled Midnight Mass, on the way. It will revolve around an “isolated island community” who experience “miraculous events and frightening omens” after a mysterious young priest joins them.
There's plenty to watch before the Haunting of Hill House season 2 land. Check out our list of best new TV shows coming soon.