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The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan and his longtime Intrepid Pictures partner Trevor Macy have signed a big overall deal with Netflix that includes a second season of the anthology. While Netflix doesn’t release viewership data, this is one clear indicator that the series was a massive hit for the streamer.
Sources say the pact is for four or five years and worth in the low eight-figure range. Given that The Haunting was the duo’s first series, that sum is considered a sizable investment from the streamer that changed the overall deals space after handing out nine-figure deals to the likes of super-producers Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. The deal is separate from the duo’s feature film work. Under the terms of the agreement, Flanagan and Macy will develop and produce new series exclusively for Netflix.
The next installment of the Haunting anthology will feature an entirely new story with all new characters.
“Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy are masterful at creating authentically frightening stories that leave audiences on the edge of their seats but unable to look away,” Cindy Holland, vp originals at Netflix, said Thursday in a statement. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with them on The Haunting series and future projects to come.”
Season one of The Haunting — a formal title for season two will be announced soon — was based on Shirley Jackson’s novel and executive produced by Amblin Television co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey and writer Meredith Averill (who is now co-showrunning Hulu-turned-Netflix’s take on the horror comic Locke & Key). Since its Oct. 12 debut, The Haunting of Hill House has garnered strong critical praise (it has a 92 percent and 91 percent rating among critics and viewers, respectively, on RottenTomatoes.com) as well as recognition from the WGA, among others. (Netflix does not release ratings data but instead makes renewal decisions based on its internal viewership returns and cost analysis.) Season one starred Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas and Elizabeth Reaser. Amblin TV and season one producers Paramount TV are still attached to the anthology.
Flanagan and Macy are currently in postproduction on Doctor Sleep, a feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 follow-up to The Shining, starring Ewan McGregor. The pic, which Flanagan wrote and directed and Macy produced, is due for release in November from Warner Bros. The Netflix deal extends Flanagan and Macy’s relationship with the streamer, which includes the 2017 feature Gerald’s Game (based on King’s novel) and the 2016 features Hush and Before I Wake. The pair’s Intrepid banner is also in post on the Netflix feature Eli, due out this year.
“Netflix has been an important part of our story, and we’re proud to have worked with them on The Haunting of Hill House, not to mention Gerald’s Game, Hush and Before I Wake,” Flanagan and Macy said in a joint statement. “They’ve enabled and supported a great deal of our work, and we look forward to much more.”
The pact arrives as competition for top talent has reached a fever pitch. Warner Bros., Comcast and Disney all plan their own direct-to-consumer platforms in a bid to compete with Netflix, which has swooped in to sign major players away from their longtime studio homes (such as Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, who left ABC and Fox, respectively).
The Haunting duo join a rapidly growing roster of top producers with Netflix deals that also includes Kenya Barris, Marti Noxon, Steven S. DeKnight, Eric Newman and Jenji Kohan, among others.
As for what season two of the anthology will be, all that is known for now is that it will tell a “new story with all new characters.” Still, Flanagan may have offered a clue in season one about how he’d turn the series into an anthology. The pilot included this mysterious line of dialogue: “A ghost can be a lot of things — a memory, a daydream, a secret.” Then, in the finale, this one: “Ghosts are guilt, ghosts are secrets, ghosts are regrets and failings. But most times, a ghost is a wish.” Those words could offer a hint about potentially exploring ghost stories around the world and through time.
Flanagan is repped by WME, Novo and VanderKloot Law. Macy is with WME and Reder & Feig.
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