I’ll admit, it took me a while to come around on genre filmmaker Mike Flanagan but I’m firmly on the bandwagon these days. I remember being decidedly unimpressed with his haunted mirror movie Oculus, and didn’t really get what all the was fuss was about early in his career. But Netflix has really forced me to do a ‘180’ on the guy. I really liked Flanagan’s low-budget thrillers Hush and Gerald’s Game, and I’ve heard good things about his latest Stephen King adaptation, Doctor Sleep, which serves a sequel to The Shining.
Flanagan is best known for his Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, which led the streamer to sign the director and Trevor Macy, his Intrepid Pictures producing partner, to a multi-year overall deal. And now we’ve learned that the first project to come out of that deal will be Midnight Mass, a seven-episode series about an isolated island community that begins to experience miraculous events — and frightening omens — when a mysterious young priest arrives in town.
Flanagan will direct and executive produce Midnight Mass with Macy, who are also prepping a second installment in the Haunting franchise — The Haunting of Bly Manor, which will star Victoria Pedretti from Hill House. The series is based on Henry James’ gothic horror novella, and is expected to debut in 2020.
Like Jordan Peele, James Wan and Jason Blum, Flanagan is beginning to establish himself as a bona fide horror brand — one who seems to have a fan in genre maestro King. It’ll be interesting to see where Flanagan’s movie career goes after Doctor Sleep, which is slated to hit theaters in November. I wonder if you’ll see him tackle a big franchise film, like Wan did with Furious 7 and later, Aquaman. If Doctor Sleep is a hit, Flanagan will be in even higher demand, and while he will have earned the right to do whatever he wants, I hope he stays true to his genre roots. Don’t forget that he’s also developing a reboot of I Know What You Did Last Summer, while his horror script Snapshot 1988 is out to A-list talent. Flanagan is represented by WME and Novo.
Deadline broke the news, and made sure to note that Flanagan’s new Netflix series is completely unrelated to the Vertigo comic Midnight, Mass., which follows married occult experts Adam and Julia Kadmon as they deal with supernatural cases around America.