Stephen King is having a moment. Film adaptations of It, The Dark Tower, Gerald's Game, and 1922 have all been released to various levels of acclaim in recent years, while the likes of It: Chapter Two, In The Tall Grass, and a remake of Pet Sematary are all due to premiere in 2019. And then there's perhaps the most hotly anticipated re-imagining of King's work: the Doctor Sleep film adaptation.
The film, based on the novel of the same name, is a direct sequel to The Shining. It extends the story of Danny Torrance into adulthood after the events of the first book. Considering how it will continue from the work of both King and director Stanley Kubrick, Doctor Sleep has already drawn plenty of attention. This is everything we know so far about the horror flick.
The Success Of ‘It’ In 2017 Pushed The Film Into Production
Warner Bros. has been developing a movie based on Doctor Sleep since 2014, less than a year after the novel released. Considering the success of The Shining and the enduring popularity of Stephen King novels, it made sense for the studio to produce a sequel. With the massive commercial and critical success of It in 2017, though, other horror properties and King adaptations were seen as particularly valuable.
Following It's release, Doctor Sleep was fast-tracked. By the summer of 2018, it had entered pre-production.
It's A Direct Sequel To ‘The Shining’ Novel
Doctor Sleep is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King. It's a direct sequel to his book The Shining and takes place a few decades later. The story follows an adult Danny Torrance who's dealing with many of the same problems that haunted his father, including alcohol addiction.
Danny also struggles with his psychic powers and a group of vampire-like creatures who prey on children.
It's Directed By Mike Flanagan, The Man Behind ‘The Haunting Of Hill House’
The first screenplay for Doctor Sleep was developed and written by Akiva Goldsman in 2016. In 2018, however, Warner Bros. approached Mike Flanagan to both rewrite the script and direct the film. Flanagan has slowly built up a reputation for being one of the best directors in the horror genre, helming films like Oculus, Hush, and Ouija: Origin of Evil.
His popularity grew in 2018 when he wrote and directed the highly acclaimed Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House.
The Director Worked On The Stephen King Adaptation ‘Gerald’s Game’
Before he wrote and directed The Haunting of House Hill, Mike Flanagan worked on another Stephen King project for Netflix. Along with producing partner Trevor Macy, Flanagan adapted Gerald’s Game into a film in 2017. It was well-received and considered a big success, especially since the novel was deemed impossible to turn into a movie as it primarily takes place inside the mind of the main character.
King himself praised the adaptation, describing it as "[h]ypnotic, horrifying, terrific."