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Horror buzz: Mike Flanagan's Midnight Mass casts Hill House alum; Ghost Squad to haunt theaters

By Josh Weiss
Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan's Midnight Mass TV series for Netflix has found its cast. The streaming service announced Wednesday that Kate Siegel (The Haunting of Hill House), Zach Gilford (The Purge: Anarchy), and Hamish Linklater (Legion) have all joined the project in leading roles.

Henry Thomas, Rahul Abburi, Crystal Balint, Matt Biedel, Alex Essoe, Annabeth Gish, Rahul Kohli, Kristin Lehman, Robert Longstreet, Igby Rigney, Annarah Shephard, Samantha Sloyan, and Michael Trucco are also a part of the cast.

Having also created the show, Flanagan (Hill House, Doctor Sleep) is attached to direct all seven of its episodes, which will center on the residents of an isolated island who begin to experience strange events when a young priest visits their town. Flanagan is executive-producing alongside Trevor Macy.

Midnight Mass leads

Midnight Mass is expected to kick off production in Vancouver this spring.

Speaking of filmmakers joining horror films, Scholastic confirmed today that Brenda Chapman (co-director of Pixar's Brave) will write and direct a big-screen adaptation of Claribel Ortega's upcoming YA book, Ghost Squad.

The project is a co-production among ‘Twas Entertainment, Josephson Entertainment, and Scholastic Entertainment. Expected to hit shelves in April, the novel is about two outcast kids, Lucely and Syd, battling evil spirits just before Halloween in St. Augustine, Florida. With some help from Syd's "witchy" grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, the two friends will attempt to reverse the curse they unleashed in the first place and save the town.

“I am thrilled to work with Scholastic, Josephson Entertainment, and ’Twas Entertainment to bring to life the fantastical world created by Claribel Ortega,” said Chapman in a statement. “Her dynamic characters and the setting of St. Augustine make adapting Ghost Squad a unique and wonderful opportunity.”

Ghost Squad front cover

Ghost Squad Art

Ghost Squad Art

“I’ve wanted to work with Brenda Chapman ever since our daughter Shira declared Brave’s ‘Merida’ her favorite kick-ass female character ever!” added producer Barry Josephson. “We’re very fortunate that Scholastic has invited us to produce Ghost Squad alongside them. We cannot wait to launch this completely original franchise.”

Chapman recently made waves at Sundance with Come Away, a prequel to the stories of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland that stars David Oyelowo, Angelina Jolie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Michael Caine.

Luke Cage is headed to Hulu's Monsterland, Deadline has confirmed. Mike Colter, who currently stars on CBS's Evil, will play a grieving husband in the upcoming horror anthology. His episode is entitled “Newark, New Jersey" and centers on a grieving husband grappling with guilt following the disappearance of his daughter and in denial that she's gone, even as it begins to eat away at his marriage.

Photo of Mike Colter as David Acosta in CBS's Evil

Created by Mary Laws (Preacher), Monsterland is based on the short stories found in Nathan Ballingrud's North American Lake Monster. Laws also serves as writer and executive producer. 

Jonathan Tucker (Westworld) and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) have been cast as well.

In the X-Files-esque Evil, Colter plays David Acosta, a man studying to be a priest who investigates seemingly supernatural occurrences with a forensic psychologist named Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers). Acosta is more open to the idea of otherworldly entities, while his partner remains more dubious.