Mike Flanagan will direct Doctor Sleep, the film adaptation of a sequel novel to Stephen King's The Shining.


John Saavedra

Jan 26, 2018

Warner Bros. has found its director for Stephen King movie Doctor Sleep, according to THR. Mike Flanagan, who recently directed Netflix’s excellent adaptation of Gerald’s Game, will helm this sequel to The Shining.

Both WB and Flanagan are coming off major successes with King adaptations. Last year, WB released It: Chapter One, which went on to become the highest grossing horror film of all time, earning $700 million at the box office. Bringing on a talented director like Flanagan to Doctor Sleep bodes well for this next King offering, which has a pretty big act to follow. After all, The Shining may very well be the best King movie ever made

The Tracking Board reported back in 2016 that Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman had been tapped to write the screenplay for Doctor Sleep. Goldsman was previously involved in another high-profile King adaptation, The Dark Tower, for which he co-wrote the screenplay.

Doctor Sleep arrived in 2013, 36 years after the publication of The Shining, and stars an adult Danny Torrance still trying to cope with the aftermath of what happened so many years ago at the Overlook Hotel. Like his father, Dan struggles with alcoholism and anger management, but eventually gives up drinking and settles down in New Hampshire. He develops a psychic link with a 12-year-old girl named Abra Stone, who is even stronger in “the shining” than he is. Over the course of the novel, Dan discovers that Abra is being hunted by a tribe of psychic vampires who want to feed off of Abra’s lifeforce, and it’s up to him to protect her.

You could certainly call this sequel a bit more campy than its predecessor. I can’t be the only one that is reminded of those cat-like energy vampires from the King-penned movie Sleepwalkers, right? Of course, this novel is much better than that movie. 

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that King’s sequel to The Shining is being developed as a film. In fact, it’s more surprising that Doctor Sleep took this long to make it into a Warner Bros. board room. After all, this sequel could be the horror movie event of the year, following up on a film as revered as Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece. 

Not to mention that with Doctor Sleep, we could have a potential “Shining Trilogy” from Warner Bros., which is also producing a Shining prequel called The Overlook Hotel. There aren’t any plot details on that, but one can only imagine that this would be an origin story for the hotel and how it got so haunted. Last we heard, Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) was going to direct this one from a screenplay by former Walking Dead-showrunner Glen Mazzara. 

There aren’t any release dates attached to either of these films, but we’ll keep you posted.