Mike Flanagan tried to make The Midnight Club a movie — until he had to destroy the script

Mike Flanagan's first attempt at bringing The Midnight Club to the screen didn't go so well.

The horror maven behind The Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep went way back to the very beginnings of his new Netflix series while stopping by EW's New York Comic Con suite Thursday.

"This is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid," Flanagan said. "I started reading Christopher Pike when I was probably too young to read Christopher Pike, but I felt like I was getting away with something. But I started to try to write a script for The Midnight Club when I was in college. And I wrote a whole script. It was going to be a feature film. I was really excited about it, and I was putting together a big investment package to try to get friends and family to invest in this movie. And I got in touch with the publishers and I said, 'I can't wait to embark on this. Can I have your permission?'"

Their response was not ideal. "They said, 'Cease and desist, and destroy all copies of the script. You didn't have permission to adapt,'" Flanagan recalled. "So I very sheepishly destroyed them all." He didn't even keep one copy. "I was afraid of being sued."

Chris Sumpter on 'The Midnight Club'
Chris Sumpter on 'The Midnight Club'

Eike Schroter/Netflix Chris Sumpter on 'The Midnight Club'

Fast-forward to now, and Flanagan, with co-creator Leah Fong and executive producer Trevor Macy, is about to debut The Midnight Club, a streaming series inspired by Pike horror's novels.

The main story for the show is largely based on — you guessed it — The Midnight Club, Pike's 1994 book. Terminally ill teens living at Brightcliffe Hospice sneak out daily at the stroke of midnight to share ghost stories with each other and look for signs of the world beyond. Each of their stories is a mini adaptation of another Pike book.

Flanagan, Fong, and Macy joined EW for an interview with cast members Iman Benson, Igby Rigney, Adia, Aya Furukawa, Sauriyan Sapkota, Annarah Cymone, Chris Sumpter, Ruth Codd, and Heather Langenkamp. The first eight star as the teen members of the Midnight Club, while Langenkamp, a legendary scream queen of A Nightmare on Elm Street, plays Dr. Georgina Stanton, head of Brightcliffe.

On her return to acting after so many years working behind the camera, Langenkamp said she needed a role that was just as special as Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. "It had to be a really good role," she said. "It had to be one I knew that I would be saying in the future, 'Oh, I'm Georgina Stanton.' It had to be that good of a role, and I feel like it was. I love my part so much."

Watch the full interview in above. The Midnight Club debuts Friday on Netflix.

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