Director Mike Flanagan's Next Project Will Add Sci-Fi Into His Horror Toolkit

Mike Flanagan attends the premiere of Warner Bros Pictures’ Doctor Sleep on October 29, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Mike Flanagan attends the premiere of Warner Bros Pictures’ Doctor Sleep on October 29, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association (Getty Images)

Director Mike Flanagan—who rose to the A-list thanks to his pair of Haunting Netflix series and his big-screen take on Doctor Sleep, Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining—has announced his next project. He’ll be tackling sci-fi horror with an adaptation of Christopher Pike’s 1993 novel The Season of Passage.

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This news comes courtesy of Deadline, which notes that Flanagan will be co-writing the screenplay with James Flanagan (whose writing credits include The Haunting of Bly Manor and Mike Flanagan’s upcoming Netflix series Midnight Mass; as the name suggests, the two also happen to be brothers) and that plot details are unknown. However, there’s a description for the book: itcenters around celebrity Dr. Lauren Wagner who was involved in a manned expedition to Mars. The whole world admired and respected her. But Lauren knew fear. Inside―voices entreating her to love them. Outside―the mystery of the missing group that had gone before her. The dead group. But were they simply dead? Or something else?”

Going by Flanagan’s previous works—Doctor Sleep stayed fairly true to the King novel, while both The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor took creative liberties with their source material—it’s hard to say how close he’ll keep to Pike’s novel for The Season of Passage. (Deadline reports that Pike will be an executive producer on the project, and reminds us that Flanagan’s currently working on another Pike adaptation, The Midnight Club, a Netflix series). However, it’s almost certain to mark the horror director’s first big venture into sci-fi, which given his ability to create atmosphere, suspense, and believably messed-up characters, all while scaring the hell out of audiences, makes The Season of Passage a feature we’re very eager to sink our eyeballs into.

No word yet on when it might begin filming, but considering The Midnight Club is still currently in pre-production, you’d have to imagine not immediately. We’ll bring you more on The Season of Passage as and when we learn it.


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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SF State University (MA, Cinema Studies), big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.

DISCUSSION

eutropius-achaikos
Eutropius Achaikos

Yikes. I remember reading this when it came out (1993) and it was... really, really, really bad. I mean, SyFy-made movie bad. I don’t recommend reading it at all.

Let’s just say the plot comes down to “vampire lizard aliens want to invade Earth and sentient cockroach aliens stop them with the help of a magic ring.” There’s creepy (see vampire lizards), gross (an extremely graphic rape scene), bizarre (race to stop invasion involving a magic ring in India), and banal (flat uninteresting stock characters.) It was marketed as a YA horror pulp novel but giving it any of those terms is an insult to all of those genres.

This book was not a good Pike book at all, and not because it has too much going on. I think the Flanagans are going to have to do some massive creative editing and “finessing” in order to wrestle a compelling and good story out of it. There are other, better Pike stories that would be better served to adapt to the screen.