Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan has revealed there was almost another Shining sequel after Doctor Sleep.
“We were SO CLOSE,” he said. “I’ll always regret this didn’t happen." Asked by a fan why it didn't happen, Flanagan added, "Because of Doctor Sleep’s box office performance, Warner Bros opted not to proceed with it. They control the rights, so that was that.”
We were SO CLOSE. I’ll always regret this didn’t happen https://t.co/0hr3hUTMhg
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) September 18, 2022
Doctor Sleep debuted in 2019 – a direct sequel to the classic 1980 Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining. It tells the story of Danny Torrance – Jack’s son from the first movie. Now grown up (and played by Ewan McGregor) he struggles with his supernatural gift and the trauma of his past until becoming a popular orderly at a local hospice, using his powers to comfort dying patients and earning him the titular nickname, Doctor Sleep.
Unfortunately, the film was something of a disappointment at the box office, earning $72 million worldwide, after being made on a $45 million budget. Now, it looks as though Warner Bros. chosen not to take another roll of the dice when it came to a potential sequel.
Flanagan, who also wrote the Doctor Sleep script, is also known for another Stephen King adaptation after bringing Gerald’s Game to Netflix. His adaptation was met with critical success, with King himself calling the film “hypnotic, horrifying and terrific”.
IGN’s Doctor Sleep review gave it 8.5/10 and said: “When it’s focusing on the new things it brings to the table, Doctor Sleep is consistently terrifying, visually impressive, and soulful in equal measure. Though it may get a little heavy-handed and tonally confused in its reverence for Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the homestretch, the vast majority of the film succeeds in using the Torrance family’s pain to tell a story of coming to terms with the past."
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.