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H.P. Lovecraft? Clive Barker? Mike Flanagan dishes on horror authors he wants to adapt next

Flanagan and fellow producer Trevor Macy want to dish up some cosmic horror.

By Josh Weiss
Mike Flanagan attends Netflix's The Midnight Club at New York Comic Con

Mike Flanagan is certainly no stranger to the world of horror-based literature. Since he first exploded onto the scene with 2013's Oculus, the director has gone on to adapt the works of spine-tingling storytellers like Stephen King (Gerald's Game, Doctor Sleep), Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House), Henry James (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Christopher Pike (The Midnight Club; premiering on Netflix tomorrow), and Edgar Allan Poe (the upcoming Fall of the House of Usher).

The million-dollar question is this: Which writer will the man adapt next? SYFY WIRE had a chance to catch up with Flanagan at New York Comic Con Thursday during a conversation geared toward the impending release of The Midnight Club, and posed the conundrum before him.

"I'd love to do [H.P.] Lovecraft!" he exclaimed after we suggested he tackle the master of cosmic dread and weird fiction. The filmmaker's regular producing partner — Trevor Macy — was in agreement: "The Necronomicon [a cursed grimoire in the Cthulhu Mythos and also the title of Lovecraft's collected works] is on my office table in the center, so I would love to do that, too. That's a dicey one because it scares the hell out of executives."

He's not wrong. Nearly all of the indescribable and madness-inducing horrors contained within Lovecraft's stories likely work best when conjured up in the reader's imagination and would lose their existential potency if translated onto the screen. It's why you rarely, if ever, hear the defiled names of Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth in big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. But who knows what the future truly holds?

"I'd love to do some Clive Barker," Flanagan said of the author whose work inspired the Hellraiser franchise. "I love Clive Barker's writing. Thomas Ligotti. If you're into Lovecraft, he's [got] phenomenal cosmic horror. And then on the classic side, we've talked about [the fact that] Dickens had some incredible ghost stories. Christmas Carol is a ghost story. He knew how to do this stuff, so that's an author we've flirted with. There's still plenty out there..."

Co-created and executive produced by Flanagan and Leah Fong, The Midnight Club arrives Oct. 7 on Netflix with its first 10 episodes. Macy, Julia Bicknell and Christopher Pike are also executive producers.

Iman Benson, Igby Rigney, Ruth Codd, Annarah Cymone, Chris Sumpter, Adia, Aya Furukawa, Sauriyan Sapkota, Matt Biedel, Samantha Sloyan, with Zach Gilford, and Heather Langenkamp co-star. Guest stars include: William B. Davis, Robert Longstreet, Rahul Kohli, Katie Parker, Michael Trucco, Emily Piggford, Crystal Balint, Henry Thomas, Alex Essoe, John C. MacDonald, and Jason O’Mara.

Click here for all of SYFY WIRE's continuing coverage of New York Comic Con 2022. 

Looking for more spooky thrills? Check out Season 1 of SYFY's haunted house saga SurrealEstate on the SYFY app, and get ready for Season 2 that is on the way soon.