Warner Bros. has officially said goodnight to the “Doctor Sleep” sequel.
Director Mike Flanagan confirmed on Twitter that his proposed “The Shining” sequel follow-up is indefinitely shelved. The film was set to focus on the fan-favorite character Dick Hallorann, played by Scatman Crothers (and killed) in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”; he’s played by Carl Lumbly in “Shining” callbacks in 2019’s “Doctor Sleep.”
“We were so close,” Flanagan tweeted. “I’ll always regret this didn’t happen.”
In the comments section, Flanagan added that the film was canceled “because of ‘Doctor Sleep’s’ box office performance, Warner Bros. opted not to proceed with it. They control the rights, so that was that.”
“Doctor Sleep” starred Ewan McGregor as an older (and more haunted) Danny Torrance and opened to $14 million at the domestic box office, ultimately grossing $31 million domestic and $72 million worldwide against a $45 million budget. An ardent hater of Kubrick’s “The Shining,” Stephen King defended the movie, at the time calling “Doctor Sleep” “a terrific movie” that everyone should see to “dig the vibe.”
“Box office numbers aside, Mike Flanagan’s film is excellent,” King wrote. “If people choose not to go, that is their choice, but when something is good, I cheer for it.”
Director Flanagan previously said in 2020 that the sequel was supposed to go into development immediately following the wrap on “Doctor Sleep.”
“Hallorann was always more about Dick as a younger man learning about the shining. And the ‘Doctor Sleep’ novel tees up a prologue for it perfectly with the story of his grandmother and his grandfather,” Flanagan told ReelBlend podcast (via Collider). “Which he tells a little bit of in this [movie]. But the idea was to open with him as Carl Lumbly, and then to find a way to go back into the past and kind of tell this other story that inevitably would, very much in the way ‘Doctor Sleep’ did, inevitably bring us back to a familiar hotel.”
Flanagan additionally teased a three-hour directors’ cut of “Doctor Sleep” featuring “brand new stuff that was never included in the theatrical cut” as well as extended scenes.
“There are some big new scenes, for sure. I don’t want to spoil any of that, but I can say that there is new material throughout (including in the final act at the Overlook),” Flanagan said.
A “Doctor Sleep” series set at the Overlook Hotel was also shelved at HBO Max in 2021.
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