Doctor Sleep Gave Stephen King A New Appreciation For Kubrick’s The Shining

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When Mike Flanagan was hired to write and direct the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep—which also serves as a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s screen adaptation of The Shining—he knew it would be difficult to please both the author and fans of the 1980 movie. After all, King has always been extremely critical of Kubrick’s film. However, the author knew Flanagan was on the right track when he read the screenplay.

“I read the script to this one very, very carefully,” King told Entertainment Weekly. “Because obviously I wanted to do a good job with the sequel, because people knew the book The Shining, and I thought, I don’t want to screw this up. Mike Flanagan, I’ve enjoyed all his movies, and I’ve worked with him before on Gerald’s Game. So, I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.”

In spite of this early enthusiasm, Flanagan was filled with anxiety when it came to sit with King and screen the finished film. “I spent the whole movie trying not to throw up, and staring at my own foot, and kind of overanalyzing every single noise he made next to me,” the director explained. “The film ended, and the credits came up, and he leaned over and he put his hand on my shoulder, and he said, ‘You did a beautiful job.’ And then I just died. The rest of the day… we just talked. He was like, ‘Having watched this film it actually warms my feelings up towards the Kubrick film.’ That’s when I really kind of freaked out. The whole goal from the beginning was to inch those two back together in any way, to reconcile that gulf of distance between the Kubrick Shining and the King Shining. If there was ever a way to do that, even a little, that was what I wanted as a fan.”

Doctor Sleep arrives in theatres on Friday. Check out the trailer below.