The Fall of the House of Usher: Bruce Greenwood replaces Frank Langella in Netflix series

by Natalie Kiser

Two weeks ago, we heard that Frank Langella (Masters of the Universe) had been fired from genre regular Mike Flanagan’s Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Netflix limited series The Fall of the House of Usher following an investigation into claims that he had been involved in unacceptable conduct on set. This conduct reportedly included making inappropriate comments to a female co-star. The role Langella had been playing, Roderick Usher, “the towering patriarch of the Usher dynasty”, has now been recast, and all of the footage that was shot with Langella in the role is being reshot with his replacement. The actor who is taking over the role is Bruce Greenwood, who previously worked with Flanagan on Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep, and The Haunting of Hill House (where he had a cameo as a ghost).

Flanagan made the casting announcement himself on Twitter:

I'm elated to welcome my dear friend, the brilliant BRUCE GREENWOOD to THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER as the iconic Roderick Usher. This will be our 4th collaboration (because yes, I absolutely count the background ghost cameo in HILL HOUSE).

— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) April 29, 2022

The Langella situation is very unfortunate, but Greenwood is a solid choice for his replacement. Greenwood is a good addition to any cast.

Here’s the set-up for Poe’s story The Fall of the House of Usher:

Roderick Usher and his sister Madeline are the only two surviving members of the aristocratic Usher family. For many years, they have lived together in the ancient mansion which is their ancestral family home. Madeline Usher has been ill for a long time and is not expected to live much longer. Partly due to his sister’s illness and partly, he believes, due to the negative influence of the old mansion in which he lives, Roderick Usher has fallen into a deep melancholy. To help recover his spirits, he summons his old friend, the story’s unnamed narrator, to come visit him. 

This limited series isn’t solely based on that story, though. Just like Flanagan and his writers drew inspiration from multiple different Henry James stories when crafting The Haunting of Bly Manor, they’re mixing elements of multiple different Poe stories for this show.

The cast of The Fall of the House of Usher includes Kate Siegel (Hush), Rahul Kohli (Midnight Mass), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Carla Gugino (The Haunting of Hill House), Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica), Carl Lumbly (Doctor Sleep), Henry Thomas (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Samantha Sloyan (Grey’s Anatomy), T’Nia Miller (Years and Years), Sauriyan Sapkota (The Midnight Club), Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Katie Parker (Absentia), Michael Trucco (How I Met Your Mother), Malcolm Goodwin (iZombie), Crystal Balint (A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting), Kyleigh Curran (Secrets of Sulphur Springs), Paola Nuñez (Bad Boys for Life), Aya Furukawa (The Cabin in the Woods), Matt Biedel (Narcos: Mexico), Daniel Jun (The Expanse), Ruth Codd (The Midnight Club), Robert Longstreet (Halloween Kills), Annabeth Gish (Before I Wake), Willa Fitzgerald (Scream: The TV Series), and Igby Rigney (F9).

Aside from Roderick Usher, we only know details about a few of the characters:

Mark Hamill plays “a character surprisingly at home in the shadows”; Mary McDonnell is Madeline Usher, Roderick’s twin sister; Carl Lumbly plays Poe’s investigator C. Auguste Dupin.

Coming to us from Netflix and Flanagan’s production company Intrepid Pictures, The Fall of the House of Usher will consist of eight episodes. Flanagan will be directing four of those episodes, and the other four will be directed by Michael Fimognari, who was Flanagan’s cinematographer on Oculus, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Gerald’s Game, Doctor Sleep, and the Flanagan / Netflix shows The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass.

Flanagan and Fimognari are executive producing The Fall of the House of Usher with Trevor Macy and Emmy Grinwis. Flanagan has said that this show is going to be “blood-soaked and wild”.

What do you think of Bruce Greenwood replacing Frank Langella as Roderick Usher? Let us know by leaving a comment below.