There's a new ghost story in town — and this one has creepy dolls, too. On Monday, Aug. 31, Netflix dropped The Haunting of Bly Manor trailer, revealing an October release date just in time for Halloween. And, based on the teaser, this new season will bring viewers into yet another haunted house on Oct. 9. (Spoiler: this one has a serious haunted doll problem.)
The Haunting of Bly Manor is the second season of creator Mike Flanagan's Haunting anthology series, which began with The Haunting of Hill House, an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's classic novel that premiered in 2018. The source material for the second season will be Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw, which follows the plight of a governess who, while caring for two small children on a remote estate, becomes convinced the grounds are haunted. Bly Manor will give the story a modern update, setting the story in the 1980s.
Flanagan's producing partner Trevor Macy will return to help adapt and expand the literary world of The Turn of the Screw, including updating the setting, as per Vanity Fair. Macy said the process for the new season was similar to the first in that "it’s a literary remix,” and that in updating the story writers hoped to, "find whatever fertile ground for elevating the character that you can in the source material." He added that it wouldn't be completely faithful to the text, saying: "We obviously took some liberties in updating it with a more modern setting.”
Many Haunting of Hill House stars will return for the new episodes, but the stars will be recast in dramatically different roles. Victoria Pedretti, (who played Nell in Hill House), will return as upbeat American tutor Dani Clayton, who accepts a job at a mansion looking after the Wingrave children. Dani, who is on a trip abroad, and initially considers the job a chance to have an adventure, is a stark departure from the brooding and lonely Nell. The returning cast will also include Kate Siegel, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Henry Thomas.
Newcomers will join the series as well, with Amelie Bea Smith and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth starring as the Wingrave children, Flora and Miles. The new episodes will also include Rahul Kohli as chef Owen, Amelia Eve as groundskeeper Jamie, and T’Nia Miller as housekeeper Mrs. Grose.
And yet, the real star of the series will be the haunted manor, as per the first season. Flanagan noted that the show remains focused on "haunted spaces and haunted people" and "the way we make those things dance together is really going to be what’s uniform about Hill House and Bly," as per Vanity Fair. However, the creator promised the new season would, "not to play the same notes" as the first, and that fans should pay attention to Flora's dollhouse to learn, "what’s happening and why." Well, it doesn't seem like Dani's trip abroad is going to be the cheery adventure she hoped.