Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was hated by author Stephen King. Although it received much adoration from horror fans, the creator of the book felt dissatisfied. Mike Flanagan wanted to adapt its sequel Doctor Sleep from the books to the big screens.
The king of horror hated The Shining so much that the production of its sequel was halted when Stephen King denied Mike Flanagan his permission. The director eventually convinced King to let him make the movie and it turned out to be a fruitful decision.
Stephen King Had Halted Mike Flanagan’s Production
The Shining found much success in the 1980s. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film was lauded by all except its author Stephen King. Citing the reason to be major discrepancies between the book and the movie, King was afraid of letting another book go to waste.
In the later years, Mike Flanagan (from The Haunting of Hill House fame) wanted to direct a sequel to the 1980 movie and continue the franchise. When he asked Stephen King for his permission to adapt the book Doctor Sleep into a movie, King stated a simple no.
The Midnight Mass director recently took to his Tumblr account to post the story of how he convinced the king of horror to trust him and let him make and direct Doctor Sleep.
“I put together a proposal that outlined what I wanted to do – use Kubrick’s visual language, and keep the Overlook standing as a setting for the final battle. The initial feedback we got was “no.” King really, really didn’t like Kubrick’s film, and his priority was to adapt DOCTOR SLEEP – not to revisit THE SHINING.I told him that if he didn’t want me to do it, I wouldn’t – I’d walk away from the movie before I made something he hated.”
The director further continued,
“But as a last ditch effort, I said “imagine the Overlook, decrepit and rotten. And imagine Dan Torrance having walk in to ‘wake it up,’ the lights coming on above his head as he walks the halls. He finds his way to the Gold Room. To the familiar bar, where an empty glass is waiting for him. And we see a familiar bartender ready to pour for him, saying ‘good evening Mister Torrance.’ What if that bartender is his father?” After a bit of a delay, King got back to us. “Do it,” he said.
With a star cast of Edward Norton and Rebecca Ferguson, the film went on to make $72.3 million at the global box office. Stephen King was also happy with the end result and therefore, his universe is set to expand further into the hidden depths of The Dark Tower.
Stephen King’s Horrorverse To Finally Happen?
Related: “Nothing would be a bigger honor than to work on that”: The Midnight Club Creator Mike Flanagan Sets His Eyes on Stephen King’s Dark Tower After Unsuccessful Attempt by Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey
In the year 2017, a film titled The Dark Tower was released. The film starred Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey and yet it failed in its performance. If one goes by the books, The Dark Tower is seemingly connected to many prominent works of Stephen King. The place works like a connecting common point (and maybe the cause) of all the horror occurring in King’s horror verse. The 2017 movie directed by Nikolaj Arcel crashed very hard with a low of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes.
With Mike Flanagan, things could very well be different. The director has much experience with the horror genre and was praised for creating series like The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass. If things go well, Stephen King just may end up giving Flanagan the keys to his Horrorverse, and The Dark Tower and all its related works might get a justified adaptation.
Doctor Sleep is available to stream on HBO Max.