Quibi is adapting the classic Henry James ghost story ‘The Turn of the Screw’ for its upcoming short-form video platform. First published in 1898, and continuously ever since, this Gothic tale depicts a young governess hired to care for the niece and nephew of a wealthy man at their posh summer estate. Upon arrival, the governess begins seeing ghosts but, of course, no one believes her and she questions their existence until she learns that the governess before her, and another household staff member, died under mysterious circumstances.
Quibi’s take will be modernized, of course, and the setting will be changed from Bly, England, to an idyllic island in the Pacific Northwest. The governess (nanny) will be Mexican-American.
Alexandra McNally (‘Under the Dome’, ‘White Collar’) and Josh Berman (‘Daytime Divas’, ‘Notorious’) are developing the project via their Osprey Productions which is set up at Sony Pictures Television. ‘The Turn of the Screw’ was previously in development at Freeform.
Quibi launches in April 2020 and is a short-form video platform designed to be enjoyed on-the-go on smartphones and other portable devices. Episodes will be ten minutes long or shorter. Investors include The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, and WarnerMedia. Among its other offerings is the innovative horror series ‘Spielberg’s After Dark’ from Steven Spielberg, which can only be viewed at night. Quibi has partnered with T-Mobile, but no details or plans have yet been announced, but it’s probably a safe bet that it will be free to users of that cellular service.
‘The Turn of the Screw’ has been presented countless times on stage and screen, and now it’s getting two more retellings. In addition to this project at Quibi, the story is the basis for Netflix’s ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’, the follow-up to 2018’s ‘The Haunting of Hill House’. ‘Bly Manor’ is not a direct sequel, but after ‘Hill House’s success, it was decided that the show would continue as an anthology. Two cast members from ‘Hill House’– Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Victoria Pedretti, who portrayed twins Luke and Nell– will be back, but in different roles. (Pedretti plays the governess.) That version is expected to arrive in 2020.
Although Quibi launches in April, considering that ‘The Turn of the Screw’ has just been announced as being in development, it most likely won’t be among the first offerings.
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