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What’s Next for Mike Flanagan?

Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) kneels over a candle in a still from 'Doctor Sleep'

Arguably one of the best visionaries working in the horror genre right now, Mike Flanagan has delivered a great range of films and series that’ll leave you both terrified and in tears. From the Haunting anthology (we need a third one, Mike!) to the slow burn of Midnight Mass, and his exceptional Stephen King adaptations, the guy can do no wrong. But with Netflix’s recent cancellation of the latest installment in the Flanaverse (yes, that’s a word), The Midnight Club, what’s next for Flanagan? Fortunately for us, the answer is a lot.

The Fall of the House of Usher

Cover art for 'The Fall of the House of Usher' by Edgar Allan Poe
(Vintage Digital)

The Fall of the House of Usher is expected to run for eight episodes, with Flanagan and frequent collaborator Michael Fimognari set to direct four episodes each. It will be produced by Flanagan and Trevor Macy’s Intrepid Pictures and will serve as his final project with streaming giant Netflix before their move to Amazon Studios. The limited series is based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story of the same name and follows a man visiting his childhood friend, Roderick Usher, whose twin sister has been placed in the mysterious family vault despite not being dead, exactly. The short story is part of a larger anthology of creepy tales written by Poe, so we can probably expect certain elements from those other stories to find their way into the limited series.

The cast is filled with Flanagan regulars, including Carla Gugino, Annabeth Gish, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli, T’Nia Miller, Zach Gilford, Samantha Sloyan, Robert Longstreet, and of course, his wife and muse Kate Siegel. 

The Hollywood Reporter revealed last year that Star Wars’ Mark Hamill will also be making an appearance in an undisclosed role. His character is expected to be someone who is “surprisingly at home in the shadows.” Other new faces we’ll be seeing include Mary McDonnell and Paola Nuñez. 

Frank Langella was originally cast to play Roderick Usher, but has since been replaced with Bruce Greenwood after reports of inappropriate behavior. 

Speaking to Deadline, Flanagan described his excitement for the show and how Kate Siegel personally describes it as her favorite among all the series they have worked on together: “In a lot of ways, I feel like it’s the perfect bow for that Netflix era of Intrepid to pull so many cast members and elements and themes from all of the shows that we did there. It really is kind of a grand curtain call for the Netflix type of work that we did. I can tell you it’s my wife’s favorite of all of the shows, and she is always right. I’m still too close to it to say that I love the show; I’m so excited about it.”

Its official synopsis reads as follows: “The drama is based on multiple works from Edgar Allan Poe, it features themes of madness, family, isolation, and metaphysical identities. The Fall of the House of Usher is narrated by a man who has been invited to visit his childhood friend Roderick Usher. Usher gradually makes clear that his twin sister Madeline has been placed in the family vault not quite dead. When she reappears in her blood-stained shroud, the visitor rushes to leave as the entire house splits and sinks into a lake.”

The Season of Passage

The cover of 'The Season of Passage' by Christopher Pike
(Tor Books)

Based on the 1993 Christopher Pike novel of the same name, The Season of Passage is an interesting mix of sci-fi and horror. The story follows famed Dr. Lauren Wagner, one of two survivors of a Martian expedition investigating what happened to a prior crew of Russian astronauts who never found their way back to Earth. On Mars, the crew discovers chilling secrets and realizes that the missing Russians may still be alive after all. 

According to Deadline, Flanagan is set to co-write the screenplay with his brother James, and will, of course, also remain in the director’s chair and co-produce alongside longtime partner Trevor Macy. 

The Dark Tower

Cover art for Stephen King's The Dark Tower
(Scribner)

The Dark Tower series is Stephen King’s most extensive epic, which also makes it his most difficult story to adapt. Several attempts have been made over the years, including a forgettable 2017 movie and a scrapped Amazon Studios pilot. It was recently announced that Mike Flanagan will be the next creative to take a stab at The Dark Tower, and everyone has high hopes. This isn’t Flanagan’s first rodeo with the king of horror, having written and directed both Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. The series spans seven books and Flanagan has confirmed that he intends to work on at least five seasons of TV before closing it all with two feature films.

In an interview with Deadline, Flanagan explained how he landed the rights to the adaptation, saying he worked on very extensive outlines for King to go over. He also described the project as his “Holy Grail,” and revealed that The Dark Tower is actually separate from his Amazon deal—meaning he’s free to shop the series around to different studios and networks.

The Dark Tower was at one point planned as a movie franchise composed of three feature films and a companion TV series, with Ron Howard at its helm back in 2010. That idea was scrapped, and in 2015, Sony and MRC acquired the rights to adapt King’s story. The 2017 film starred Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey and tanked at the box office.

Hopefully, with Flanagan’s passion and extensive planning, and with King’s personal blessing, this new take on The Dark Tower will prove to be more successful. 

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Danielle is a twenty-something writer and postgrad student based in the Philippines. She loves books, movies, her cat, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting 35mm film and going to concerts.