The Haunting of Bly’s Mansion is a scary story about life and death and the victory over demons. With entangled storylines and twists at every turn, it’s hard not to binge on this series all at once. Mike Flanagan brings another innovative element of storytelling to the world with this literally and metaphorically haunting drama.
But what if this series had been made in the 90s? The story would remain intact but a new casting would be necessary. The ’90s were full of accomplished and up-and-coming actors, and a solid cast would definitely be needed to create the world Bly Manor exists in. Which artists from the 90s would best bring this show to life?
ten Peter Gallagher as Henry Wingrave
Henry Wingrave is a tormented man. It is he who hires Dani to be the au pair of his niece and nephew. Henry is one of the saddest characters, as he continually punishes himself for the loss of his brother and his brother’s wife who Henry was also in love with. Although Henry seems very weak and distant at first, he eventually takes charge of raising the children.
Peter Gallagher’s work on CO as well as various other projects illustrate just how versatile it is. It can bring depth and emotion to every new game. It would be especially interesting to see him play Henry Wingrave, a man who has to work exceptionally hard to cope with his pain.
9 Haley Joel Osment as Miles Wingrave
Miles Wingrave is the nephew of Henry Wingrave. He got kicked out of school after his sister, Flora, sent him a note asking him to come home. He is very protective of Flora and sometimes goes too far. Ultimately, he falls victim to the ghosts of the mansion.
Haley Joel Osment was instrumental in The sixth sense. His acting skills were extraordinary for a boy his age and earned him several award nominations. Miles is a very confrontational character and Osment would certainly be able to bring that to life.
8 Mara Wilson as Flora Wingrave
Flora is the youngest of the Wingrave. She is a gentle child, but also clearly troubled. She creates dolls of all the ghosts in the house so that she can follow them. This scares Dani, but she’s not sure what to do about it. Flora later turns out to be both incredibly intelligent and terribly courageous as she tries to sacrifice herself to save everyone.
Mara Wilson was a very prolific child actress of the 90s. She mostly played light roles like those of Mathilde and Mrs. Doubtfire. However, there is no doubt that Wilson is talented enough to take Flora off as well. It would be fascinating to see Wilson in a whole new kind of role.
7 Brad Pitt as Peter Quint
Peter Quint is one of the villains of Bly Manor. As a ghost, he cheated on his lover (and the current au pair), Rebecca, into committing suicide so that they could be together forever. He then used Miles and Flora in a plan to give himself and Rebecca permanent bodies by owning the children.
Brad Pitt is a perfect fit for this cunning villain. Pitt has appeared in many horror films and thrillers such as Interview with the vampire and Se7en. He also has the charm and cunning to play a convincing Peter Quint. This role would work perfectly in Pitt’s cinematic repertoire.
6 Theresa Randle as Rebecca Jessel
Rebecca was the Wingrave au pair before Dani. As mentioned above, she was murdered by the ghost of Peter Quint, but the rest of the residents of Bly Manor just thought she had ended her life. Rebecca’s ghost continues to talk to Flora every night before bed and protects her from Quint’s evil plan.
Theresa Randle would bring heart to the role of Rebecca Jessel. Randle tends to take on small roles in movies, but that doesn’t make them any less important. She finally starred in Beverly Hills Cop III and Bad Boys. Randle would bring elegance and depth to the part of Rebecca which is essential to understanding the character.
5 Nicole Kidman as Viola Willoughby-Lloyd
Also known as Lady of the Lake, Viola owned Bly Manor centuries before current events. She comes out of the lake near Bly Manor each night, then walks the exact same path through the mansion, then back into the lake. Viola was an incredibly intelligent woman before and after death.
Nicole Kidman’s recent work as the enigmatic Masha de Nine Perfect Strangers proves that she is capable of playing a mysterious and otherworldly woman. She is able to create an air of grace around her, and it would be amazing to see that evolve as Viola becomes increasingly ill throughout her life. It would all turn into a beautiful portrayal of the character.
4 Naveen Andrews as Owen Sharma
Owen is the cook at Bly Manor. He knows children well and enjoys taking care of them with his food. Before his mother’s death, he spent a lot of time away from the mansion looking after her. He feels even more sorrow when he realizes that he is pining after Hannah was of no use, as she has been a ghost for some time.
Naveen Andrews is known for his role as Sayid in Lost. His character is both strong and intelligent and also romantic. He falls deeply in love with another castaway and is heartbroken when she is killed. The energy Andrews brings to this role would fit right into the role of Owen.
3 Whoopi Goldberg as Hannah Grose
Hannah is the housekeeper at Bly Manor. She seems to have feelings for Cook Owen, but sadly, nothing can ever come of it. It is revealed that Hannah was actually killed by Peter Quint (who owned Miles) and that she has been a ghost since Dani arrived at the property. She finds it hard to come to terms with this, which is why no one else knows.
Whoopi Goldberg played a wide variety of roles from Celie in The color purple in Deloris in the Sister act series. Goldberg’s acting history is full of all kinds of different projects. She is a woman of many talents. Her dedication and heart would make her a brilliant Hannah Grose.
2 Sandra Bullock as Jamie Taylor
Jamie is the keeper of Bly Manor. She quickly falls in love with Dani and wants to help her get better when the mansion begins to wreak havoc on her. Jamie stays by Dani’s side even as the Lady of the Lake owns her. It is revealed at the end that the original narrator of the series is an older Jamie.
Sandra Bullock has the down-to-earth energy to play Jamie. Bullock even made his debut in thrillers like Speed which means she knows how to handle this kind of story. Bullock would be particularly adept at delivering Jamie’s dry humor. It all culminates in a perfect ’90s Jamie.
1 Winona Ryder as Dani Clayton
Dani is the protagonist of The Haunting of Bly’s Mansion. She is haunted by the image of her late fiance, so she moves to England and becomes an au pair to get away from her past. After a series of events, she allows the Lady of the Lake to own her and then lives in relative peace for a few years with her girlfriend, Jamie. In the end, she drowns so the Lady of the Lake can never hurt Jamie. Dani deserves so much more than the end given to her.
Winona Ryder’s experience in Tim Burton films and other thrillers makes her the ideal candidate for this role. His role as Jo March in Little woman showcases his compassion and dramatic acting. This, combined with her history in thrillers and fantasy, makes her a good choice for Dani. Dani needs an actor who understands the nuances of horror and heartbreak, and Ryder can provide it.
NEXT: Netflix’s The Haunting Anthology: Best Performances, Ranked
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