'The Haunting Of Bly Manor' Is A Love Story, Among Other Things

The Haunting of Bly Manor, the follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House, is changing things up a bit. For one thing, it's telling a whole new story – drawing on the works of Henry James rather than Shirley Jackson. For another, the series is going to put the romance back in gothic romance. According to creator and director Mike FlanaganBly Manor is a love story as well as a ghost story.

Every love story is a ghost story, or so said David Foster Wallace. And in a new interview with Vanity Fair, Mike Flanagan says you can expect some romance to go along with the ghosts in The Haunting of Bly Manor. While season one was a very loose adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, season 2 will draw on Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw. But it will also pull from James stories like "The Jolly Corner" and "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes."

Flanagan's producing partner Trevor Macy calls it "a literary remix," adding: "You want to update the story, you want to find whatever fertile ground for elevating the character that you can in the source material, but we obviously took some liberties in updating it with a more modern setting."

"It certainly provides a new way to tell a love story, and there are three of them that really beat at the heart of this season," said Flanagan. "They all have a very dark edge to them. And by the end, it's really hard to differentiate tragedy with romance. That sense of romantic longing for someone who meant so much to us—but who's gone—really is the heart of any ghost story."

Hill House breakout Victoria Pedretti is back, this time playing Dani, a governess in the '80s hired to take care of two orphan children at the spooky manor they call home. Needless to say, things are not what they seem. "It's the idea that the world that we're presented with has all of the answers, but it has hidden meanings and has clues that would help us understand it differently if we were able to see them," said Flanagan.

Vanity Fair goes into more regarding the series' many characters, including live-in housekeeper Hannah Grose (T'Nia Miller); Henry Thomas as the uncle of the orphans; Amelia Eve as groundskeeper Jamie; Rahul Kohli as chef Owen; the previous governess Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif); and Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Peter Quint, who has a connection to Rebecca.

All of this hints at a much different experience than Hill House. So even though many of the cast members and creative team are still involved, don't expect the same old, same old. There's no premiere date just yet, but the series will arrive sometime in Fall 2020. In the meantime, check out the poster below, along with some images.