It’s no secret that horror fans have been spoiled in recent years as a filmmaker Mike Flanagan exploded onto the Netflix series scene with The Haunting of Hill House. The man responsible for elevating the TV side of the genre is behind film adaptations like Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s game. Using his wife’s acting chops Kate Siegel and other stars, Flanagan has established a franchise-like cast with his characters as fans now seek out familiar faces with every adaptation he brings to the stream.
Inspired by classic works like Henry James’screw turn for The Haunting of Bly Manor and the next The Fall of House Usher by Edgar Allen Poe, gothic literature fans eagerly await each year to see what he does next. With each series rivaling the last, Flanagan has yet to disappoint with its limited series horror adaptations. As for what’s on this filmmaker’s agenda, there are literary pieces that have been made that desperately need his touch and others that he could elevate with creative freedom.
‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier
Alfred Hitchcockthe iconic movie Rebecca finds its roots in Daphne du MaurierThe 1938 novel of the same name. A recent Netflix remake starring Armie Hammer and Lily James proves that Hitchcock’s adaptation is final (for now). Rebecca (whichever version you refer to) is the story of an unnamed young woman who marries a wealthy widower, the mysterious death and inheritance of his first wife, Rebecca, weighs heavily on their new life together.
Possibly titled “Mrs. de Winter,” Flanagan’s cast of regular performers would easily settle into this gothic adaptation with Victoria Pedretti returning to play either the new Mrs. de Winter or Rebecca. Oliver Jackson-Cohen would be a good choice for Maxim de Winter if Flanagan chooses to recast him for the third time alongside Pedretti. Netflix’s first attempt to remake this tale went south, but was able to see rave reviews with Flanagan at the helm.
“Secret Window, Secret Garden” by Stephen King
While David Koepp had already adapted a film version in 2004, this Stephen King the novel has the potential to create an intensely cinematic limited series at the hands of Flanagan. secret windowSecret Garden was part of a collection called Four hours after midnight which King published in 1990. In the midst of a horrible divorce, writer Mort Rainey is accused by another man of stealing his story. Rainey is determined to prove that his story was published first, but soon all the facts and those who can prove his innocence begin to disappear.
The film version starred Johnny Depp like Rainey and John Turturro as accuser, John Shooter. Critics weren’t sold on the adaptation as Depp’s loyal fans and audience members rated it higher. The mysterious short lacks a specific supernatural element Flanagan fans crave, but it wouldn’t be the first King adaptation the filmmaker has tackled that relied solely on tricks of the mind.
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
A classic literary tale that needs the right budget and the right filmmaker, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has a solid foundation for Flanagan to build on and plenty of failed adaptations to see what went wrong. The first film adaptation came in 1931, but the version released ten years later in 1941 earned three Oscar nominations. Featured Icons Ingrid Bergman and Spencer Tracythe film was nominated three times for the 14th Academy Awards.
The original news from Robert Louis Stevenson was published in 1886. It is the story of Gabriel Utterson, a lawyer, as he investigates a series of events between his old friend Henry Jekyll and the sinister Edward Hyde, only to discover that they are the same nobody. This gothic tale is perfect for Flanagan and his talented cast of regular actors and actresses. A limited series would do justice to the classic tale, especially with Rahul Kohli returning to embody Utterson.
“The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Not quite a horror or gothic tale, but audiences have seen what Flanagan can do with religious texts given the success of Midnight Mass. First published in 1836, The minister’s black veil is a short story of Nathaniel Hawthorne about Mr. Hooper, a minister from Connecticut, who once donned a black veil, protecting his face for the rest of his life. There doesn’t appear to be a film or TV version of the novella, which gives Flanagan free rein to breathe new life into this classic tale.
The original text alludes to the veil as an allegory of sin and that everyone wears black veils to hide their secret sins. There’s so much room for interpretation with this text and an open nature that Flanagan could easily weave in elements of horror and modernize the text. Again, his success with biblical and religious themes in Midnight Mass makes this text an obvious choice.
“The Phantom Rickshaw” by Rudyard Kipling
There’s no room for a sung Disney adaptation here. This 1888 gothic short by Rudyard Kipling follows the story’s narrator, Jack, as he finds himself in a love triangle between the woman he had an affair with and his new love interest. When his rejected lover dies of grief, Jack begins to see his ghost and descends into madness. This 19th century tale would thrive with an update from Flanagan.
To date, it doesn’t appear that any filmmaker has yet tackled this story with a recognizable adaptation. To support The Haunting of Hill House reimagined a classic tale that didn’t yet have a movie version that horror fans could instantly point to. Any of Flanagan’s cast members could have the creative freedom to bring Kipling’s characters to life for a limited series.
KEEP READING: Mike Flanagan’s Netflix Shows Ranked From ‘Midnight’ to ‘Manor’