Netflix was the owner of the distribution rights for the new adaptation of the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This is not the first time this book has been taken to the screen. It was already the subject of two movie adaptations, The Haunting (1963) by Robert Wise featuring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom and Richard Johnson, and the quite forgettable The Haunting (1999) by Jan de Bont with Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson and Lili Taylor. Paramount Television, together with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, are the producers of the 10 episodes mini series.
The director attached to this project was since pretty much the beginning Mike Flanagan, who also has the role of screen writer and executive producer. After a few short films, the young filmmaker is becoming one of the reference names in new horror haunted spirits movies, with titles like Oculus (2013), Before I Wake (2016) and the very recommendable Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016). His latest work to date is the horror thriller Gerald’s Game (2017), which development is already completed and it’s supposed to be released before the end of this year 2017.
In addition to the director, it has been made public the names of the two main actors for the series. Michiel Huisman, better known for the sensational The Invitation (2015), will be Steven Crane. And the newest addition to the cast is Carla Gugino, a highly familiar face for the audiences thanks to her appearances in movies like Watchmen (2009) or Sin City (2005).
The original 1959 Shirley Jackson novel has received multiple awards and is considered one of the best literary ghost stories published during the 20th century. It is about Hill House, an eighty-year-old mansion in a location that is never specified, built by long-deceased Hugh Crain. The story concerns four main characters: Dr. John Montague, an investigator of the supernatural; Eleanor Vance, a shy young woman who resents having lived as a recluse caring for her demanding invalid mother; Theodora, a flamboyant, bohemian, possibly queer artist; and Luke Sanderson, the young heir to Hill House, who is host to the others. Dr. Montague hopes to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. He rents Hill House for a summer and invites as his guests several people whom he has chosen because of their past experience with paranormal events. Of these, only Eleanor and Theodora accept. Eleanor travels to the house, where she and Theodora will live in isolation with Montague and Luke.
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