Mike Flanagan has built up a reputation as Netflix’s go-to horror auteur through his work on shows like The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. Despite the success of these series, though, he’s not too keen to make another Haunting installment… at least not right away. During a recent Entertainment Weekly interview promoting his upcoming Netflix horror show, Midnight Mass, Flanagan explained his reservations about continuing the anthology.
“One of the things that defines the Haunting anthology for me is that both of them so far are about updating and riffing on existing classic literature,” he said. “Midnight Mass was always so original and important and personal, it just never felt like it was ever going to be a part of that universe.”
Midnight Mass, which centers on the religious fervor that sweeps a small Catholic community, is an original story by Flanagan (but based on a fictional book that shows up in his films Hush and Gerald’s Game). Meanwhile, both Haunting shows reinvent well-known stories — Hill House is based on the iconic Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, while Bly Manor is inspired several Henry James works, most notably The Turn of the Screw.
As Flanagan’s producer Trevor Macy puts it, Haunting also specifically deals with the idea of memories as ghosts.
“If the stars align in such a way that we decide to go back into the Haunting world, it would have to be so much on that track that we’ve set up,” Flanagan said. “It would have to be the right piece of IP, it would have to be the right ghost-centric story, and it would have to really fit with Bly and Hill House.”
Regardless, fans of the Haunting series will be happy to know that loads of familiar faces show up in Midnight Mass, including Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli, and Annabeth Gish.
“[Midnight Mass] always clearly existed in its own world,” Flanagan said. “I think it’s fun for us to bring back people we like to collaborate with, but those collaborations predate and will continue to exist long after Haunting.”
Midnight Mass premieres on Netflix on September 24.
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