Mike Flanagan (filmmaker)
Mike Flanagan (born May 20, 1978) is an American filmmaker and partner in Intrepid Pictures. He is best known for his horror films, all of which he directed, wrote, and edited, including Absentia (2011), Oculus (2013), Hush, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil (all 2016), Gerald's Game (2017), and Doctor Sleep (2019).
|Born||May 20, 1978|
Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Education||Towson University (BA)|
Flanagan also created, produced and served as showrunner on the Netflix supernatural horror anthology series The Haunting which consists of The Haunting of Hill House (2018), a season based on Shirley Jackson's novel of the same name and The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020), a season based on the horror novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, both of which he has directed, written and edited episodes of. Flanagan also created and directed the Netflix horror mini-series Midnight Mass (2021), as well as the upcoming series The Midnight Club.
Flanagan's work has attracted the praise of critics for his directing, focus on characters and themes rarely depicted in horror, and lack of reliance on jump scares; Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino and William Friedkin, among others, have praised him. He is married to actress Kate Siegel, who has been featured in most of his works since Oculus; they also wrote the screenplay of Hush together.
Flanagan was born in 1978 in Salem, Massachusetts. His father was in the United States Coast Guard, and the family moved around often. Although he only briefly lived in Salem, it left an impression on him, and Flanagan retained an abiding interest in both the Salem witch trials and associated topics, such as ghost stories and horror fiction. Flanagan eventually ended up in Maryland, where he was a student at Archbishop Spalding High School and later attended Towson University. He graduated with a BA in Electronic Media & Film and a minor in theater.
Flanagan's student films were more oriented toward melodrama. He later characterized them as "unfit for public consumption" but said that they were "incredible learning experiences". His first film directed after graduation, Ghosts of Hamilton Street (2003), was filmed in Maryland and featured local actors, including Scott Graham, whom Flanagan met at Towson. Graham would go on to star in Flanagan's 2006 short film, Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan, which he made for $1500.
Flanagan originally intended for the Oculus story to be told in a series of short films, but he could not find the financing. Instead, he shot the chapter that included a back story and used that to demonstrate that he could direct a horror film. The short proved popular at film festivals, and producers were interested in developing the concept; however, they either wanted to shoot it as a found footage film or rejected Flanagan's stipulation that he direct the feature-length adaptation. Flanagan directed Absentia (2011), which was financed through a Kickstarter campaign, in response to this rejection.
Made for $70,000, and filmed in his Glendale, California, apartment, Absentia was released direct-to-video but gained popularity when Netflix offered it on their streaming service. After the surprise success of Absentia, Flanagan returned to Oculus, which he again shopped around. Intrepid Pictures took an interest in the concept and agreed to let Flanagan direct. The feature version of Oculus was filmed in 2012 and released theatrically by Relativity Media in 2014.
After Oculus, Flanagan shot his next film, Before I Wake, in 2013. The film was acquired by Relativity Media in 2014, and was originally scheduled to be released on May 8, 2015, but was pushed back to September 25, 2015 and later pulled from the schedule due to the company's filing for bankruptcy. After a year in bankruptcy court, Relativity then announced the film would be released on April 8, 2016, but did not release the film on the promised date, as the company struggled to get back on its feet. The film was then scheduled to be released on September 9, 2016, but three weeks prior to that date, Relativity once again pulled the film from the schedule, prompting a public argument between Flanagan and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh on Twitter. Kavanaugh claimed the Sept 9 date was a "bad date," while Flanagan suggested that Relativity wasn't financially able to release the film. Relativity never did release the film, as Kavanaugh sold Relativity to Singapore-based social networking platform YuuZoo in October 2016. Netflix eventually acquired the rights and released the film in January 2018.
Flanagan wrote and directed Ouija: Origin of Evil, which starred Elizabeth Reaser, Henry Thomas, and Annalise Basso. Production began in September 2015, and the film was released in October 2016, and grossed over $81 million worldwide. Around the same time, it was revealed that Flanagan had been working on a "secret project" called Hush. Written in 2014 and filmed in March 2015, the project was kept confidential until a screening at the Toronto Film Festival. Written by Flanagan and lead actress Kate Siegel, and also starring John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, and Samantha Sloyan, the film had its world premiere at SXSW in March, 2016, and was released exclusively on Netflix on April 8, 2016. In 2017, Flanagan directed, wrote, and edited the psychological horror film Gerald's Game, based on the 1992 novel of the same title by Stephen King. The film was released on Netflix on September 29, 2017 to critical acclaim. King called the film "hypnotic, horrifying and terrific" after watching the rough cut.
In 2018, Flanagan created, directed, produced, edited, and wrote the Netflix supernatural horror series The Haunting of Hill House, based on Shirley Jackson's novel of the same name. In 2019, Flanagan wrote and directed the horror film Doctor Sleep, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, itself the sequel to his previous novel The Shining. Ewan McGregor stars as the older version of Danny Torrance in the film, which was released in November. In February 2019, The Haunting of Hill House was renewed for a stand-alone second season, titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, based on the novel The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. It premiered in 2020. Around the same time it was also announced that Flanagan had joined frequent collaborator Trevor Macy as a partner in Intrepid Pictures, and that the duo had signed an exclusive overall deal with Netflix to produce television content.
In July 2019, as part of that overall deal, Netflix ordered Flanagan's original horror series Midnight Mass. Flanagan wrote, directed and served as showrunner on the 7-episode series, which was released in September 2021 to critical acclaim after a production delay in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2020, it was announced that Flanagan would adapt numerous novels by Christopher Pike into a new series, titled The Midnight Club for Netflix. Flanagan co-created the series and will serve as executive producer and showrunner. In April 2021, Flanagan was announced to be developing a film for Universal Pictures based on another Christopher Pike novel The Season of Passage . In July 2021, it was announced that Flanagan would adapt comic book series Something Is Killing the Children for Netflix. Flanagan will write and executive produce the series along with Trevor Macy. In October of that year, it was announced that Flanagan will create The Fall of the House of Usher, an eight episode limited series for Netflix that will be based on the short story of the same name and other works by Edgar Allan Poe. Flanagan will direct four episodes of the series, with the other four being helmed by his longtime cinematographer Michael Fimognari.
Flanagan was formerly in a relationship with Absentia actress Courtney Bell, with whom he has a son. Since February 2016, he has been married to actress Kate Siegel, with whom he has two children, one son and one daughter. He has been sober since 2018.
|2003||Ghosts of Hamilton Street||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Student film|
|2006||Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan||Yes||Yes||Uncredited||Yes||Short film|
|Before I Wake||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Ouija: Origin of Evil||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|2017||Dobaara: See Your Evil||No||Story||No||Executive||Indian remake of Oculus|
|Untold Stories of the E.R.||2005||No||No||No||Associate||No||Documentary series|
Also editor of episode: "How Can This Happen?"
|Bone Detectives||2007||No||No||No||Yes||No||Documentary series|
|Your Place or Mine?||2008||No||No||No||Yes||No||Reality television series|
|Super Swank||No||No||No||Yes||No||Documentary series|
|Machines of Malice||2008–2009||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Pinks: All Out||2009||No||No||No||Yes||No||Reality television series|
|Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Hot in Cleveland||No||No||No||Yes||No||Episode: "Behind the Hotness"|
|The Haunting of Hill House||2018||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||10 episodes|
Edited episode: "Steven Sees a Ghost"
|The Haunting of Bly Manor||2020||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Wrote and directed episode: "The Great Good Place"|
Edited episodes: "The Pupil," "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes," "The Beast in the Jungle"
|The Midnight Club||2022||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Post-production|
|Actor||Absentia||Oculus||Before I Wake||Hush||Ouija: Origin of Evil||Gerald's Game||The Haunting of Hill House||Doctor Sleep||The Haunting of Bly Manor||Midnight Mass||The Midnight Club|
|The Newton Brothers|
- "Rotten Tomatoes: Movies | TV Shows | Movie Trailers | Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes".
- Barone, Matt (April 10, 2014). "Fear the Glass: The Making of "Oculus," the Best Haunted Mirror Movie You'll Ever See". Complex. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "Netflix Orders TV Series Adaptation Of 'The Haunting of Hill House' Book From Mike Flanagan, Amblin TV & Paramount TV". Deadline. April 10, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
- "Stephen King Gets Loud About HUSH". Dread Central. April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- "Tarantino Dubs DOCTOR SLEEP One of the Best Films of the Year". Dread Central. December 4, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
- @WilliamFriedkin (December 5, 2016). ""HUSH is a great horror film...on Netflix. Terrifying."" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Zinski, Dan (February 12, 2017). "Stephen King: Netflix's Gerald's Game Movie is 'Horrifying, Hypnotic'". Screen Rant. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Laughrey, Clarisse (October 17, 2018). "Stephen King calls new Netflix horror The Haunting of Hill House 'close to a work of genius'". The Independent. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- Miller, Mark L. (February 18, 2011). "Bug talks with Mike Flanagan Writer/Director of OCULUS and ABSENTIA!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "Made in Maryland". The Baltimore Sun. November 1, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Schwartzel, Erich (September 15, 2013). "Cheap Horror Movies Make a Killing". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Barton, Steve (January 27, 2014). "Exclusive: Mike Flanagan Reflects on the Horrors of Oculus". Dread Central. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Vlessing, Elan (May 20, 2014). "Cannes: Entertainment One Acquires Trio of Films for Canada". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Donnelly, Matt (August 16, 2016). "Ryan Kavanaugh, 'Before I Wake' Director Spar Over Another Relativity Date Shuffle". The Wrap. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- "Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media To Be Sold". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- Collis, Clark (December 13, 2017). "Repeatedly-delayed Jacob Tremblay horror movie Before I Wake coming to Netflix". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
- Barton, Mike (April 30, 2015). "'Ouija' Sequel Conjures 'Oculus' Director and Star". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "BoxOfficeMojo". boxofficemojo.com.
- Mack, Andrew (September 12, 2015). "Toronto 2015: Mike Flanagan's 'Secret Project' HUSH Creates Buzz At Buyers Screening". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
- "Gerald's Game (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Zinski, Dan (February 12, 2017). "Stephen King: Netflix's Gerald's Game Movie is 'Horrifying, Hypnotic'". Screen Rant. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 26, 2018). "Mike Flanagan To Helm Stephen King's 'The Shining' Sequel 'Doctor Sleep'". Deadline. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
- "Ewan McGregor to Star in New 'Shining' Movie 'Doctor Sleep' (EXCLUSIVE)". June 13, 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (February 21, 2019). "'Haunting of Hill House' Renewed as Anthology, Creators Ink Overall TV Deal at Netflix". Variety. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 21, 2019). "Title of 'The Haunting' 2nd Installment Revealed; Anthology Heads To Bly Manor". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 21, 2019). "'The Haunting' Renewed For Season 2 as Mike Flanagan & Trevor Macy Partner in Intrepid Pictures & Ink Netflix Overall Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- "Netflix Orders Midnight Mass from Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy". Deadline.
- Hermanns, Grant (March 13, 2020). "Netflix Delays Production on Mike Flanagan's Midnight Mass". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- Otterson, Joe (May 5, 2020). "'The Haunting of Bly Manor' Team to Adapt 'Midnight Club' as Netflix Series". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- "Mike Flanagan to Direct The Season of Passage for Universal Pictures and Intrepid Pictures". Deadline.
- Squires, John. ""The Fall of the House of Usher": Netflix and Mike Flanagan Developing Series Based on Edgar Allan Poe Stories!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- "Bio". MikeFlanagan.com. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Peitzman, Louis (April 11, 2016). "Meet the Filmmaker Who Wants to Save Horror From Cheap Scares". BuzzFeed. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- @flanaganfilm (December 3, 2018). "Today, Kate and I welcomed our..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @flanaganfilm (August 9, 2021). "This one is special..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.