Let's be honest: Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House was only barely an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's acclaimed horror novel of the same name. Rather, the TV show shook around some of the fundamental ingredients found in Jackson's novel — including an isolated and "insane" mansion called Hill House, characters' names, and a misguided psychologist – and created an entirely new, and entirely thrilling, work of art.
So, when it comes to creating a second season, creator Mike Flanagan isn't beholden to adhering to Jackson's work. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly about the past and potential future of Hill House, Flanagan made that clear.
"The story of the Crain family is told. It’s done," Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly. "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.”
We can derive two truths from Flanagan's statement to Entertainment Weekly. First, that us Hill House super-fans can exhale: The ending of Hill House, which featured the remaining Crain siblings and their families celebrating Luke's (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) sobriety, is just as happy as it seemed. The Crains have recovered from Hill House and can live in well-won peace. Their happiness won't be dashed by a twist in season 2, because their story is officially over.
Flanagan's statement also indicates that potential future seasons of The Haunting of Hill House will focus on new characters entirely. "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," Flanagan continued.
So, the premise of the show would definitely change. Would the cast be altered as well? So far, it's unclear whether Flanagan plans to preserve the Hill House cast and place them in new roles, a la American Horror Story, or start with a new canvas entirely. Many of the actors in Hill House are regulars in Flanagan's horror movie rotation. For example, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, and Lulu Wilson, who are all in The Haunting of Hill House, star in Flanagan's 2016 movie Ouija: Origin of Evil. Also, Katie Siegel, who plays the adult version of Theo in Hill House, is Flanagan's wife and creative partner. Since Flanagan has such extensive history with the cast, perhaps they will feature somehow in future seasons.
Before we get too excited, though, let's face the stark truth of the situation: Netflix has not confirmed a second season of Hill House. We are all just fans dreaming of a reality that may or may not exist. Essentially, we've all turned into Nell. But if Flanagan is looking for season 2 ideas, we have one: The second season should explain how the Hill family came to create such a house of horrors — and what compelled them to put gargoyles inside their house.