Mike Flanagan has scared us—and made us weep uncontrollably—with his takes on iconic works from Shirley Jackson, Henry James, and Stephen King. Most recently, he did so with his original idea in Midnight Mass. But now Flanagan is heading back to some period scares. Netflix announced in October that Flanagan and his production partner Trevor Macy are making another limited series. This time, they’re using the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
The Fall of the House of Usher is an eight-episode limited series based on numerous Poe works. Flanagan and Michael Fimognari will each direct four episodes. The series title suggests the Poem “The Fall of the House of Usher” will anchor the story. This makes sense because it is fully of the trappings of a good Flanagan series: a very spooky house, tenants for whom the house’s supernatural energy has a devastating effect, and a whole lot of baggage. But as the series is covering multiple Poe works, we have a feeling it’ll look somewhat similar to Flanagan’s adaptation on spooky Henry James tales. It used “Turn of the Screw” as the central narrative, weaving many of his other short stories around it.
The Netflix announcement doesn’t specifically mention which of Poe’s other works to expect in The Fall of the House of Usher, so it’s really anyone’s guess. Although, we do have a few guesses. For instance, “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Masque of the Red Death” at the very least, all seem like they would fit into Flanagan’s thematic oeuvre. Or, maybe Flanagan will also squeeze in Poe’s recurring detective, C. Auguste Dupin. And then, of course, there’s “The Raven.” We can never forget that.
It’s curious that The Fall of the House of Usher doesn’t fall with the Haunting Of anthology, considering it has a lot in common with its predecessors. But we’re hopeful we’ll still see some familiar faces. We do love how Flanagan uses many of the same actors throughout his projects. Flanagan shared some of the cast members for the series in December via Twitter. Principal photography on the series begins in a few weeks. Here what we know so far:
- Frank Langella leads the cast as Roderick Usher, the patriarch of the Usher dynasty.
- Carla Gugino has an unknown role.
- Mary McDonnell portrays Roderick’s sister Madeline Usher, the hidden hand behind the family dynasty.
- Carl Lumbly plays Poe’s legendary investigator C. August Dupin.
- Mark Hamill plays “a character surprisingly at home in the shadows” in the series.
meet the first cast members joining THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, Mike Flanagan’s new Netflix horror miniseries based on multiple works from Edgar Allan Poe:— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) December 9, 2021
• Frank Langella
• Carla Gugino
• Mary McDonnell
• Mark Hamill
• Carl Lumbly pic.twitter.com/tEzKCWWREl
The following day, Flanagan announced another bevy of cast members, many of whom are familiar faces to fans of his work. Those include:
- Henry Thomas, in his eighth collab with Flanagan.
- Samantha Sloyan, in her fifth collab.
- T’Nia Miller from Bly Manor.
- Rahul Kohli, in his fourth role for Flanagan.
- Kate Siegel, in her eighth collab. Which is not surprising given Siegel and Flanagan are married.
- Sauriyan Sapkota, who fans will see in Flanagan’s The Midnight Club.
- Zach Gilford, fresh off of his Critic’s Choice nomination for Midnight Mass.
- Katie Parker, in her sixth collab, beginning with Flanagan’s first film Absentia.
- Michael Trucco, in his third time in a Flanagan production.
- Malcolm Goodwin, making his first appearance in a Flanagan production, but reuniting with iZombie costar Kohli.
- Crystal Balint, in her third outing for Flanagan.
- Kyliegh Curran, who starred in Doctor Sleep.
- Paola Nunez, her debut in a Flanagan project.
- Aya Furukawa, making her second appearance with Flanagan after The Midnight Club.
- Matt Biedel, in his third role, most recently in Midnight Mass.
- Daniel Jun, another first timer.
- Ruth Codd, who joined the team with The Midnight Club.
- Robert Longstreet, in his fifth collab.
- Annabeth Gish, in her fourth collab.
Good heavens that’s a lot of people! And Flanagan says that isn’t even everyone.
Time for more FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER cast. The largest ensemble in Intrepid’s history continues now with these amazing performers, some new to us, many familiar faces, all descending into the wicked world of Poe. Buckle up, this is going to take a minute…— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) December 10, 2021
We expect to be terrified. And moved to tears.
Originally published October 6, 2021. Updated December 9 and 10.