Doctor Sleep Director Still Hopeful About Developing The Shining Prequel Project

doctor sleep dick hallorann carl lumbly
(Photo: Warner Bros.)

Last year saw the release of Doctor Sleep from filmmaker Mike Flanagan, a project which was received well by audiences and critics, though its financial performance failed to meet expectations of a sequel to 1980's The Shining, but Flanagan isn't giving up hope for his prequel spinoff focusing on Dick Hallorann. The filmmaker had a unique opportunity to deliver not only an adaptation of the Doctor Sleep novel from Stephen King, but also craft a sequel to the original Shining movie, despite the contradictions presented in their narratives, with the film's home video release including an extended cut with 25 extra minutes. The filmmaker hopes that both cuts currently being available on HBO Max could ignite more interest in the mythology.

"A lot of the plans and the enthusiasm that we had for Hallorann, and for other things as well kind of coming off of this, cooled off very understandably with the studio after [Doctor Sleep] was released. But I think we're learning [about] that paradigm shift between theatrical and streaming that everyone has seen coming in the industry," Flanagan revealed to the ReelBlend podcast. "I think people thought they had another five years to really adjust the studio model to change with those times. I think it’s already happened. And I would expect, you'll hear a lot of people at [Warner Bros.] say the same. A movie that would potentially have performed theatrically even five years ago, it won't anymore, and streaming has changed everything."

He added, "So I think, as more people find this film and as it hopefully continues to perform well on HBO Max, in particular, where it's really kind of popping, that, I think, opens up a number of avenues for other stories we could tell. And Hallorann is absolutely something that I would love to put energy back into."

Given that Hallorann was killed by Jack Torrance in The Shining, there would be a number of challenges presented for such a project, with Flanagan detailing what his approach to the concept is.

"The idea was to open with him as [Doctor Sleep actor] 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," the filmmaker shared. "But I don’t know. I don’t know what we'd do with it. I love it, though, and it was something we were real excited about. So I hope there’s a new life for it out there somewhere."

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Despite that project having stagnated, Flanagan developed a second season of the acclaimed The Haunting of Hill House, with The Haunting of Bly Manor potentially landing on Netflix later this year.

Are you hoping we get to see this project? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!

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