The Director of ‘Gerald’s Game’ Is Down for a ‘Shining’ Sequel
If you’re a fan of horror and/or Stephen King and you haven’t watched Gerald’s Game on Netflix yet, you should fix that at your earliest opportunity. It’s a fantastic adaptation of what was long considered King’s most un-filmable work, and it cements Mike Flanagan as a horror director to watch in the coming years. And he’s not done with King yet either.
While talking to Stephen King fan website Lilja’s Library, Flanagan said that the next King projects he’d most like to work on are Lisey’s Story, which is about the widow of an author, and Doctor Sleep, the long-awaited and, for some, disappointing sequel to The Shining.
[T]he ones I’d want to do the most are Doctor Sleep and Lisey’s Story. In both cases, it’s because I identify with the protagonists so much. Lisey’s Story is a stunning piece of work, a beautiful exploration of marriage. And who wouldn’t want to venture back into the world of Danny Torrance?”
Doctor Sleep is not the most popular King book, and is a bit of an odd creature because King, aside from his lengthy series like The Dark Tower, doesn’t normally write sequels to his books. But maybe Flanagan, who has already proven himself an able director who can make even the weirdest concepts work (who would have thought a movie about a haunted mirror would be good?), could make the movie version of the story worthwhile.
Here’s the synopsis of the Doctor Sleep novel:
On highways across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to this icon in the Stephen King canon.
It sounds like a neat concept, and one that might lend itself better to film than paper. For now, Flanagan is hard at work on a Netflix series adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic The Haunting of Hill House.