“Once Upon a Midnight Dreary”: Netflix Dances with Master of the Macabre Edgar Allen Poe in Upcoming Adaptation

Hang around the move beat long enough and you’re bound to hear grousing – some even from me – about Hollywood’s inability to properly adapt author Stephen King to the silver screen. Sure, there have been some successes – Stand By Me, Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Mist, The Shining (which King was reportedly not a fan of – so much so that he went off and did a remake that fell quite flat indeed) – but for every one of those gems I can easily rattle off scores of adaptations that missed their mark entirely (Lawnmower Man, anyone?). What is not as often talked about is the equally shabby treatment one of King’s forefathers – Edgar Allen Poe – in the land of horror oft-times receives whenever one of his masterpieces is translated to the screen. Like King, Poe has seen some success on celluloid – notably with Roger Corman’s uneven adaptations at AIP –yet his tone sometimes feels lost in an industry where tin-ears abound. That’s a trend that streaming behemoth Netflix aims to course-correct, according to our The Tomb of Ligeia-watching pals at The Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix is going all-in on an upcoming adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, which will be directed by Mike Flanagan of Doctor Sleep fame (speaking of Stephen King).

The Fall of the House of Usher is Poe’s 1839 Gothic take on a haunted house story and deals with a nameless narrator who sets out to care for a friend complaining of a mysterious illness. Upon arrival, it is revealed that the ill man is convinced that his shambling old house is very much alive. Hijinks and hilarity ensues.

The adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher by Netflix has been revealed to be broken down into eight episodes, with the streaming platform revealing that the mini-series will comprise multiple works of Poe. Whether that means various and sundry adaptations of Poe’s work including Usher will be relayed to audiences anthology-style, or if different stories have been massaged into one narrative remains to be seen (hopefully it’s the former over the latter). As of press time, no official word on casting has been revealed. Flanagan will produce via his production house Intrepid Pictures alongside his business partner Trevor Macy. Michael Fimognari and Mike Flanagan will each direct four episodes.

Want to know more about the Netflix adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher? Frankly, so do we; Keep your peepers peeled to Vents for any and all news on this project as more becomes known!

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