Mike Flanagan details pitching Doctor Sleep to Stephen King

Doctor Sleep movie
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Mike Flanagan knew that pitching a Stanley Kubrick-inspired film to Stephen King would be a tough sell – but did it anyway.

Kudos to filmmaker Mike Flanagan. Not only does he have some of the better Stephen King adaptations from the last few years on his resume, but he also created Midnight Mass, the best Stephen King-inspired TV show to have not originated from the iconic author’s mind. We certainly can’t think of anybody who was better qualified to pitch the mighty horror author a film version of Doctor Sleep, the sequel to King’s iconic horror tale, The Shining. 

Flanagan didn’t make it easy for himself though, as he’s outlined himself in an excellent post.

He was set on making his version of Doctor Sleep as a sort-of sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 take on The Shining, a film adaptation that King famously hates. “I put together a proposal that outlined what I wanted to do – use Kubrick’s visual language, and keep the Overlook standing as a setting for the final battle,” explains Flanagan on Tumblr. “The initial feedback we got was “no.” King really, really didn’t like Kubrick’s film, and his priority was to adapt Doctor Sleep – not to revisit The Shining.”

Ultimately, Flanagan would detail the film’s finale to King and the author would sign off on the idea, something that was vital to Flanagan who says that he wouldn’t have made the film without the blessing of his ‘hero.’

It’s a long and candid post and we’d advise you to go check it out as it gives an interesting insight into how these types of hookups between studio bosses and creatives go. Oh, and Flanagan reveals that he went into the meeting looking to get a greenlight on a horror-themed Clayface movie for the DC Extended Universe. Imagine that for just one moment…

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