Season 2 of The Haunting of Hill House may look a lot sunnier than the first, but it appears to be just as scary. Based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and entitled The Haunting of Bly Manor, the Netflix anthology series’ sophomore season shared a first look with Vanity Fair on Monday, with director Mike Flanagan teasing changes to the novella, Jamesian Easter eggs, new characters, clues hidden in plain sight, and more. Here’s everything we learned!
- The Haunting of Bly Manor will take place “mostly” in 1987, and you can even see a poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in Vanity Fair’s second first look photo.
- James’ unnamed governess is now a “sunny American tutor” named Dani Clayton with “her own painful past,” played by Hill House’s Victoria Pedretti, who travels abroad to take care of Bly Manor’s two young charges, Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) and Flora (Amelie Bea Smith).
- Other characters taken from The Turn of the Screw include Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller), Miss Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), and Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).
- Aside from Pedretti, who played Nell in Hill House, other season 1 faces include Henry Thomas, who will play Flora and Miles’ uncle Henry Wingrave, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who will play Peter Quint, and and Kate Siegel, who will play a secret role.
- Unlike in season 1, the ghosts in Bly Manor won’t be abstractions, but “are actually going to be explained.” Says Flanagan: “By the end of the season, you’re going to know who they are and why they’re there.”
- There are three distinct love stories, all with “a very dark edge to them,” running through season 2.
- Some plot points and details are taken from other Henry James stories, including “The Jolly Corner,” “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes,” and “The Great, Good Place.”
- Flanagan wants viewers to keep a close eye on Flora’s dollhouse. “The more attention a viewer focuses on Flora’s dollhouse, the more they’re likely to see what’s happening and why,” he told Vanity Fair.