‘The Haunting of Hill House’ Creator Mike Flanagan Eyes Season 2 Anthology Idea, Reacts to Stephen King Praise

The showrunner and director also reacted in disbelief that Stephen King called the Netflix horror series 'close to a work of genius.'
The Haunting of Hill House
"The Haunting of Hill House"
Steve Dietl/Netflix

The Haunting of Hill House,” created and directed by horror favorite Mike Flanagan, is all the rage on Netflix this month, which means fans who have binged the 10-episode season are already wondering whether or not the series will return for a second season. Netflix has not announced additional episodes of “Hill House.” The first run of episodes was based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, and Flanagan already knows what he would and wouldn’t want to see in a second season.

“I don’t want to speculate too much about season two until Netflix and Paramount and Amblin let us know if they want one,” Flanagan recently told Entertainment Weekly. “What I will say, though, is that as far as I’ve ever been concerned with this, the story of the Crain family is told. It’s done. I think that there are all sorts of different directions we could go in, with the house or with something completely different. I love the idea of an anthology as well. But to me, I felt like the Crains have been through enough, and we left them exactly as we all wanted to remember them, those of us who worked on it.”

Flanagan admitted he considered ending the first season of “Hill House” by leaving the door open for the Crain family to return. “We toyed with a cliffhanger ending and we toyed with other ideas,” he said. “Utimately, in the writers’ room and with the cast and everything else, we really felt like the story demanded a certain kind of closure from us and we were happy to close the book on that family.”

With the Crain family story finished, Flanagan now sees “Hill House” moving forward as an anthology series. “The show is about haunted places and haunted people,” he said, “and there’s no shortage of either. There’s any number of things we could do, in or out of Hill House.”

“Hill House” was met with critical acclaim when it debuted October 12, and it quickly made a fan out of none other than Stephen King. The horror legend wrote a rave reaction to the series on on Twitter, calling it “close to a work of genius.” Flanagan said his mind was blown when he found out King loved the show. The director adapted King’s novel “Gerald’s Game” into a Netflix original film last year and is currently behind the camera for the upcoming “Doctor Sleep” feature adaptation.

“It’s insane, and I’ve never spoken to Steve,” Flanagan said. “We email all the time, actually, especially with ‘Doctor Sleep’ going, but I’ve never met him and he’s been my hero since I was a kid…I had no idea he was watching the show. We’ve never discussed the show. It’s like a little 12-year-old who just squeaks, and I like to think at some point in my career, maybe I’ll get better at reacting to that. It’s surreal to me and wonderful, and I’m thrilled he loves the show because the other thing I also know about him is if he doesn’t like something, he isn’t shy about it.”

“The Haunting of Hill House” is now streaming on Netflix. Head over to Entertainment Weekly to read Flanagan’s interview in its entirety.

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