Mike Flanagan to Direct The Shining Sequel Doctor Sleep


With the success of his recent Gerald’s Game adaptation for Netflix, director Mike Flanagan seems to have earned both the trust of Stephen King and the attention of studio execs. We are hearing this week that he has landed his first major studio project and it will be another genre flick based on King’s work. This time around, however, he will be dealing indirectly with one of King’s most well-known and beloved books as he adapts Doctor Sleep, the 2013 sequel to The Shining, for the big screen. The plot synopsis for the book is as follows:

“Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the King canon.”

As most people know, King was not a big fan of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which deviated in some significant ways from his original story. As such, Doctor Sleep may seem confusing to people who have only seen Kubrick’s film, which could present a tricky problem for Flanagan as he rewrites Akiva Goldsman’s original script. The premise is more rooted in fantasy than straight up horror. On a related note, Warners were previously developing a prequel to The Shining called The Overlook Hotel although we haven’t heard much about it for a few years now. Are you looking forward to a Doctor Sleep movie?

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  • Lori Cerny

    Sadly due to time constraints, I had to stop reading King back in the late 90s. Never heard of the novel before this post, but just browsing the internet shows it has a very high rating. I will definitely watch this film in theaters.

  • Lisa V Benson

    Read the book. It will be interesting to see how this turns out on screen.