It's pretty safe to say that three of the most anticipated horror movies of 2019 are all based on the works of one Stephen King. Pet Sematary was released earlier this year, IT CHAPTER TWO arrives in just a couple of weeks, and Doctor Sleep will bring up the rear in November. Directed by The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep is a direct sequel to one of the most celebrated horror films of all time, The Shining. Just like its predecessor, this King adaptation will be one for the adults.
Flanagan took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce that the MPAA had officially handed down a rating for Doctor Sleep. Unsurprisingly, the film has been rated R, and the director wanted to make sure fans knew exactly why.
"DOCTOR SLEEP has officially been rated R by the MPAA for 'disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity, and drug use,'" Flanagan wrote. "Sounds about right..."
DOCTOR SLEEP has officially been rated R by the MPAA for “disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity, and drug use.” Sounds about right...— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) August 21, 2019
Again, none of this is surprising given the mature content of the book the film is based on, and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Despite King being very open over the years about his disdain for Kubrick's adaptation, the Doctor Sleep movie is both a take on the writer's novel of the same name, and also a direct sequel to The Shining. Some of the footage in Doctor Sleep is a sraight up recreation of The Shining's most iconic scenes.
So Flanagan had the difficult task of making a loyal King sequel while also staying true to the version of The Shining that King couldn't stand. As the director explained in a Q&A with press, he could only pull it off with a blessing from the man himself.
"When it came to trying to craft the adaptation, I went back to the book first and the big conversation we had to have was about whether or not we could still do a faithful adaptation of the novel as King had laid it out, while inhabiting the universe that Kubrick had created," Flanagan said. "And that was a conversation that we had to have with Stephen King, to kick the whole thing off. If that conversation hadn't gone the way it went, we wouldn't have done the film."
Are you looking forward to Doctor Sleep? Which Stephen King adaptation has been your favorite so far? Let us know in the comments!
Doctor Sleep arrives in theaters on November 8th.