There was a “responsibility” when adapting classic horror novel The Haunting Of Hill House to television, one of the show’s stars has admitted.
Shirley Jackson’s seminal 1959 work was a major influence on the haunted house genre and has been adapted to film twice, most recently in 1999 when Catherine Zeta Jones appeared alongside Liam Neeson in The Haunting.
Now, Netflix has brought it to the small screen for a 10-part series written and directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel and Game Of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman.
Gugino said the cast were aware of the pressure that comes with adapting a revered book.
Speaking at the premiere of the series in Los Angeles on Monday, she told the Press Association: “There’s always a responsibility that comes when you adapt something that is a really amazing piece of source material. But in this particular case, Mike Flanagan, who adapted this, has such a reverence for the source material.
“And it’s not ever about mimicking or copying it, but taking it as an influence for this piece and running with it and I think he’s done it really beautifully and with a lot of respect.
“Shirley Jackson would be excited to see what unfolds here.”
Not all ghost stories end when you wake up. pic.twitter.com/bRS4JsLMWp— The Haunting of Bly Manor (@haunting) October 2, 2018
The “modern reimagining” of The Haunting Of Hill House features five siblings who grow up in the most famous haunted house in the US.
They reunite following the suicide of their youngest sister and are forced to confront their childhood experiences.
Siegel revealed the cast leaned on the novel for inspiration.
She said: “It’s a benefit because as an actor I know I’m getting something that has a really good safety net if you rely on the novel, which is a beloved, OG (original gangster) horror novel.
“All haunted house stories come from Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting Of Hill House, so Mike had a really great idea of what that kind of starting point is and the rest of us can go back to that whenever we needed that inspiration.”
Huisman added: “Even though our show is a really loose adaption, the fact that the source material is so rich, seeps into everything we did and made the show what it is.”
The Haunting Of Hill House streams on Netflix from October 12.