It’s no secret that horror fans have been spoiled as filmmakers in recent years Mike Flanagan exploded on the scene starring the Netflix series 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 skills Kate Siegel and other stars, Flanagan has established a franchise-like cast with his characters as fans now look to any adaptation he brings to stream for familiar faces.
Pulling from classic works like Henry James’Turn the screw to the The Haunting of Bly Manor and the coming The Fall of the House of Usher through Edgar AllenPoeHis Gothic fans eagerly await each year what he will do next. With every series competing with the last, Flanagan doesn’t have to disappoint with his limited series horror adaptations. As for this filmmaker, there are some literary pieces that are finished and badly in need of his touch, and some that he could highlight with creative license.
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“Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
Alfred Hitchcock‘s cult film Rebekah found its roots in Daphne du Maurier‘s 1938 novel of the same name. A recent remake by Netflix starring Armie Hammer and LilyJames proves that Hitchcock’s adaptation is (for now) the definitive one. Rebekah (whichever version you’re referring to) is the story of a young unnamed woman who marries a wealthy widower, the mysterious death and legacy of his first wife, Rebecca, looming heavy over their new life together.
Perhaps titled “Mrs. de Winter,” Flanagan’s crew of regular cast members would easily settle into this gothic adaptation Victoria Pedretti Returning to impersonate either the new Mrs. de Winter or Rebecca. Oliver Jackson-Cohen would be a good fit for Maxim de Winter if Flanagan recast him a third time alongside Pedretti. Netflix’s first attempt at rewriting this story went south, but managed to see rave reviews with Flanagan at the helm.
“Secret Window, Secret Garden” by Stephen King
While David Koepp adapted a film adaptation back in 2004, this one is StephenKing Novella has the potential for an intensely cinematic limited series from the hands of Flanagan. secret windowsecret Garden was part of a collection called Four past midnight which King released in 1990. In the midst of an ugly divorce, writer Mort Rainey is accused by another man of stealing his story. Rainey is determined to prove his story got published first, but soon all the facts and those that can prove his innocence begin to disappear.
The film version starred Johnny Depp as Rainey and John Turturro as prosecutor, John Shooter. Critics weren’t thrilled with the adaptation, while Depp’s loyal fans and viewers gave it higher ratings. The mystery-thriller short lacks a certain supernatural element that Flanagan’s fans are searching for, but it wouldn’t be the first King adaptation the filmmaker has tackled that has relied solely on the tricks of the mind.
‘The Curious Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
A classic literary story 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 many flopped adjustments to see what went wrong. The first film adaptation came in 1931, but the version released ten years later in 1941 garnered three Oscar nominations. Icons starring Ingrid Bergman and Spencer TracyThe film was nominated three times at the 14th Academy Awards.
The original novella by Robert Louis Stevenson was published in 1886. It’s the story of Gabriel Utterson, a lawyer who investigates a series of incidents between his old friend Henry Jekyll and the sinister Edward Hyde, only to discover they are the same person. 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 fairy tale, especially with Raul Kohli Return to impersonate Utterson.
The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Not quite a horror or gothic tale, but audiences saw what Flanagan can do given the success of religious lyrics midnight fair. First published 1836, The minister’s black veil is a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne about Mr. Hooper, a Connecticut minister who one day donned a black veil that protected his face for the rest of his life. There doesn’t appear to be a film or television version of the short story, giving Flanagan free rein to breathe new life into this classic tale.
The original text alludes to the veil as an allegory for sin and that everyone wears black veils to hide their secret sins. There is so much room for interpretation and open nature in this text that Flanagan could easily weave in elements of horror and modernize the text. Again his success with biblical and religious themes midnight fair makes this text an obvious choice.
“The Phantom Rickshaw” by Rudyard Kipling
There’s no room for a singing Disney adaptation here. Those gothic shorts from 1888 Rudyard Kipling follows the story’s narrator, Jack, as he finds himself in a love triangle between the woman he was having an affair with and his new love. When his spurned lover dies of heartbreak, Jack begins to see her ghost and is driven insane. This 19th century story would thrive with a Flanagan update.
To date, no filmmaker seems to have tackled this story with a recognizable adaptation. Bring to life The Haunting of Hill House reinvented a classic story that didn’t yet have a theatrical release that horror fans could instantly point to. Any of Flanagan’s recurring cast members could have the creative freedom to bring Kipling’s characters to life for a limited series.
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