The Haunting of Hill House still has not been renewed, but considering the show's popularity among viewers and critics, it's likely to happen.
The series is inspired by the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson, in which a paranormal investigator, two troubled women and the young heir of the Hill fortune investigate the haunted titular mansion. It was also the basis for the acclaimed 1963 Gothic horror movie, The Haunting, and inspired the widely panned 1999 remake.
Flanagan's series has a different story, but the same series. His show centered on Hugh and Olivia Crain, who buy Hill House in 1992 with the hopes of flipping it for a profit. They move in with their five children, and soon learn there are mysterious forces at play there. The series also flashes forward to the present day, where the Crain children deal with the ramifications of spending their childhood in a haunted house.
All 10 episodes of The Haunting of Hill House were released on Netflix on Oct. 12. Since then, there has been speculation about a second season, but nothing is set in stone. Here is a look at what we know so far.
Photo credit: Netflix
A Second Season Might Not Focus on the Crains
Flanagan has said a second season might not focus on the Crains. Although the series left several unanswered questions, Flanagan believes their story is done, so fans will just have to come up with their own answers.
"As far as I’ve ever been concerned with this, the story of the Crain family is told. It’s done," Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly. "I think that there are all sorts of different directions we could go in, with the house or with something completely different. I love the idea of an anthology as well. But to me, I felt like the Crains have been through enough, and we left them exactly as we all wanted to remember them, those of us who worked on it."
Flanagan said they thought about including a cliffhanger, but ultimately chose against it.
It Could Be a Prequel
During the writing process, Flanagan said they considered doing flashbacks to explain how Hill House became haunted. Ultimately, they chose against it, since they were running out of time and money.
"We had a whole history of Hill House that we were going to shoot," Flanagan told Thrillist. "We were going to open several episodes of the show with this kind of history, split out over the whole season, which would show you the construction of Hill House, the history of the Hill family, who everybody was. And we really wanted to shoot it. We wrote it all up, and it was scheduled to shoot."
Flanagan said they wished they could have filmed it, but "there's also something nice, at the end of the day, about not knowing. That there's some ambiguity there, too."
'There's No Shortage' of Potential Storylines
"We toyed with a cliffhanger ending and we toyed with other ideas, but ultimately, in the writers’ room and with the cast and everything else, we really felt like the story demanded a certain kind of closure from us and we were happy to close the book on that family," he told the magazine. "That said, I think more than anything, the show is about haunted places and haunted people, as Steve says, and there’s no shortage of either. So, there’s any number of things we could do, in or out of Hill House."
The Cast Would Love to Play the Crains Again
Do not tell the cast that Flanagan is done with the Crains because they want to play the characters again. Kate Siegel, who played adult Theo and is married to Flanagan, told Digital Spy, "Absolutely, I would run back to that family."
Michiel Huisman, who played adult Steven, told the site he was not sure about the show's future, but would be interested in coming back.
"I have no idea... what [season two] would look like. I'm up for anything," the former Game of Thrones actor said. "This could be more for me, but that really depends on the audience; if it's going to be successful or not, if people like it. The cool thing about Netflix is we can very easily see if people watch it or not. And then we'll start a conversation about whether or not we'll make season two."
'The Haunting' Could Become an Anthology Series
Flanagan previously told The Wrap he endorsed the idea of turning The Haunting of Hill House into an anthology series.
“If we did do a season 2, it definitely wouldn’t involve the Crains. I think their story is told,” Flanagan said. “An anthology series, about Hill House or something entirely new, could be really interesting!"
This would put the show in the same sphere as FX's American Horror Story, which is now in its eighth season, and SyFy's Channel Zero, which is in its fourth.
Theo's Mysterious Supernatural Touch Could Be Explained
One of the biggest mysteries left unanswered was Theo's mysterious supernatural touch. Although we did learn that some Crain women are "sensitive," we did not learn how Theo was chosen among the three Crain daughters to have this power. Maybe if we had a series focusing on just Theo, we could explore that.
Are the Crains Still in the Red Room?
The original ending of the series had a hint that Crain siblings were still in the Red Room at the very end. Ultimately, this was changed, but we could still learn that the Red Room still haunts the family. Or we could learn that the schmaltzy ending was a figment of their imagination.
“We talked for a very, very long time about putting the Red Room window, that weird vertical window, in the background of this shot,” Flanagan told Thrillist. “And I ultimately decided not to. It was too cruel. But there was a lot of talk that this peace might not be real.”
The Show Has Not Been Renewed Yet0comments
Netflix has not renewed The Haunting of Hill House yet. The show has only been out for about a month, and Netflix has never released viewer data on the show. (Netflix rarely ever releases viewer data.)
Notably, the show was produced by Paramount and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, not Netflix. The streaming service has been dropping projects by other studios left and right (like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Iron Fist and Luke Cage), but it appears that a partnership with Paramount has gone well. The studio was also behind Cary Joji Fukunaga's acclaimed Maniac miniseries.