Doctor Sleep Director Mike Flanagan Breaks Down Scrapped Dick Hallorann Spinoff

As horror fans tragically know, Mike Flanagan's Doctor Sleep was a pretty major bomb when it was released in 2019. Though the sequel to The Shining has found its audience, and was well received by audiences that did see it at the time, it was still considering a pretty big disappointment for the studio. Produced on a reported budget of $45 million, the movie made just over $31 million in the US and only $71 million globally. To add insult to injury though for Flanagan fans, the filmmaker behind Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass had plans for more stories spinning out of the movie.

Mike Flanagan has previously teased confirmed that plans for a spinoff movie about Dick Hallorrann. The head cook at the Overlook hotel who befrends Danny Torrance was originally played by Scatman Crothers in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and played by Carl Lumbly in Doctor Sleep. Flanagan has now opened up more on what his plans were for the "Hallorann" movie, revealing connections to other Stephen King properties AND how it would have played with the expectations of The Shining Fans.

"I had a great thing for Dick Hallorann movie, but I was so excited about, which is him as a young man starting in Derry and had a little overlap with IT," Flanagan said on the Script Apart podcast.  "Because in the canon, little Richie Halloran has an encounter with Pennywise as a young man. Then it was gonna be this whole other thing where he joins the army and ends up trying to work in law enforcement in New Orleans in a heavily segregated police department and is up against a kind of a cousin to the True Knot. A killer who is specifically targeting people who shine, and this big battle there. He would win the battle but lose the war and lose the people that he cared about and ended up opting for a quieter life away from all of it and taking this job making meals at this hotel in Colorado."

He continues, "It was gonna be awesome. They're gonna open with Carl Lumbly as Dick Halloran cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready for the winter because the winter caretaker and his family are due to arrive. They're saying 'You got to be ready to meet them and give them a tour.' Then he goes up to room 217 and has a weird thing with the bathtub and it flashes back to all the stuff in his life. Then at the end of the story we come back to him in the Overlook and they say the caretakers here. He'd come downstairs to meet them in the lobby and you think it's the Torrance family, but it isn't. It's Delbert Grady and his twin daughters and his wife. And you realize you're seeing the beginning of that story."

Flanagan went on to say that despite the film not moving forward he parted with Warner Bros. on good terms and understood why they chose not to make the movie. There was a swiftness in how quickly the project was scrapped though with the director revealing that "On Monday they evaluated the box office performance and by Tuesday those (spinoffs) were dead."

"I understood why they they couldn't proceed on those with with the box office that we did," Flanagan added. "It made sense. It was it was heartbreaking. It made sense. But yeah, that's all kind of gone."

Lucky for Flanagan he has another major sandbox he can play in, The Dark Tower universe, having secured the rights to Stephen King's magnum opus for development as a TV series and feature films.