Q

Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan on seeking Stephen King's blessing for sequel to The Shining

Mike Flanagan has taken on one of the most daunting projects a horror director could sign up for: he's made a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic The Shining, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.
Doctor Sleep is director Mike Flanagan's sequel to The Shining. (Warner Bros.)
Listen17:25

There are two things you need to know about Mike Flanagan. One: he likes to scare you. Two: he likes a challenge.

With films like Oculus and Hush under his belt, Flanagan is a seasoned horror director, but when Netflix approached him to make a serialised version of Shirley Jackson's classic novel The Haunting of Hill House, his first response was that it couldn't be done — but he did it.

Now Flanagan has taken on one of the most daunting projects a horror director could sign up for: he's made a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror classic The Shining. While Kubrick's film was based on Stephen King's book of the same name, the director took some liberties with the story that the author famously didn't like.

Flanagan's sequel to The Shining is called Doctor Sleep and it's also based on a King novel, which meant that he had to get approval from both the author and Kubrick's estate to make the new film. It was a situation that he's described as one of the most nerve-racking of his entire career.

He joined guest host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe live in the q studio to tell us more about the film and what it was like to seek King's approval.

"I got to watch this movie with Stephen King," said Flanagan. "I got to sit next to him and show him the finished movie, which was terrifying because I know how he so famously feels about The Shining. If he had turned around afterward and said, 'What did you do? What did you do to my characters and my book?' I don't know if I ever would have recovered from that."

Doctor Sleep hits theatres on Friday, Nov. 8.


Download our podcast or click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full conversation with Mike Flanagan.

— Produced by ​Ben Edwards

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