Stephen King has given his stamp of approval to Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep adaptation in the latest featurette from Warner Bros. Pictures. The video brings together the horror filmmaker and the prolific author in their first ever meeting.
Despite having directed and written the screenplay to another Stephen King novel, Gerald's Game, Flanagan didn't meet the legendary author until now, and in the video, he explains why that day is so special to him.
"He is my hero. He's been my hero since I was kid. I loved The Shining. It completely changed the way I looked at the world, so when I found out that he was going to publish a sequel, I lost my mind. I read it in a day or two."
Once they're joined together, the two horror fans discuss the legacy of the story and the approach Flanagan's film takes to the vastly different tellings of it. King has never been shy about his opinion of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining novel, which leaned heavily into some aspects of the book, while minimizing or abandoning others.
However, Kubrick's film continues to be named one of the most revered films of all time. Flanagan's strategy, he says, was to honor Kubrick's film by making an "authentic sequel." As a King fan, however, he made sure to include some of the themes and elements from the Shining novel that didn't make it into Kubrick's version. Mike Flanagan had this to say about melding the two properties into one.
"The only way to do the movie was through the novel [Doctor Sleep], but the cinematic legacy of Stanley Kubrick is monolithic... One of the things that's been the biggest honor for me in this is to try to pull those worlds together and to honor the story and the characters that [King] created so beautifully in this cinematic language that has become so iconic."
It seems King is on board this time, saying Flanagan's movie stands on its own while also being a "fine adaptation of Doctor Sleep" and a "terrific sequel to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining." He also had this to say about the Haunting of Hill House creator.
"By taking Dan Torrance's story as a grown up and filtering it through his own large heart, Mike has been able to take the Kubrick movie a step further."
Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor (FX's Fargo) as Danny Torrance, the emotionally scarred son of Jack Torrance. After fighting to find peace after the trauma he suffered at the hands of the Overlook Hotel, Dan is on the road to recovery. But when he encounters Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran), a teenager with an extrasensory gift known as the "shine," he's pulled back into the chaos in a life-or-death battle. Instinctively recognizing that Dan shares her power, Abra seeks him out, desperate for his help against the merciless Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and her followers, The True Knot, who feed off the shine of innocents in their quest for immortality. Dan must face his past once again by awakening his fears and embracing his own power.
The film also features Carl Lumbly as Dick Hallorann, Alex Essoe as Wendy Torrance, Bruce Greenwood as Dr. John, Alyn Lind as Snakebite Andi, Jocelin Donahue as Lucy and Jacob Tremblay. Doctor Sleep has been given a special one-night early showing thanks to Fandango on October 30th, but the film's official release is November 8, 2019. Until then, check out the new featurette at Warner Bros Pictures official Youtube channel