Mike Flanagan discusses potential prequel of Stephen King's 'The Shining'
(Credit: Warner Bros)

Mike Flanagan discusses potential prequel of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’

Mike Flanagan has been talking up the potential of creating a new prequel to Stephen King’s iconic work The Shining.

Horror director and writer Flanagan, who was at the helm of the recently released supernatural horror film Doctor Sleep, a project which was billed as an eagerly-anticipated sequel of The Shining, is open to exploring more potential areas of the plot.

While Doctor Sleep didn’t prove to be a box office smash, the film is gaining popularity and received a second lease of life after recently being uploaded to popular streaming platforms. The film, which is set years after the events of The Shining, sees Ewan McGregor star as an adult Danny Torrance, a man with psychic powers known as “the shining”. 

Flanagan directed the film alongside producing partner Trevor Macy who introduced Vertigo Entertainment’s Jon Berg into the mix. Director Flanagan has plenty of experience in the role having already been the brains behind Netflix’s adaptation of the King suspense novel Gerald’s Game and, of course, the hit show The Haunting of Hill House

Now though, Flanagan has eyes for yet another twist in the tale of Stephen King’s iconic horror. Rumours of a project entitled Hallorann had been circulating for a while, a story which could potentially focus on Dick Hallorann, the chef who appeared in the original film to educate young Danny Torrance the powers.

“A lot of the plans and the enthusiasm that we had for Hallorann, and for other things as well coming off of this, cooled off very understandably with the studio after it was released,” Flanagan told ReelBlend podcast of the plans. “But I think we’re learning [about] that paradigm shift between theatrical and streaming that everyone has seen coming in the industry. I think people thought they had another five years to really adjust their 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’s say the same.

Ewan McGregor stars in first trailer for 'The Shining' sequel 'Doctor Sleep'
Doctor Sleep

“A movie that would potentially have performed theatrically even five years ago, it won’t anymore. Streaming has changed everything. 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 absolutely is something that I would love to put energy back into.”

The plans, which perhaps depend on the success of Doctor Sleep’s performance on streaming platforms, would transition seamlessly to focus on Dick Hallorann’s youth. “We actually had quite a bit worked out for that one. That was meant to be the thing I went right into off of Doctor Sleep,” Flanagan added. “It was very much its own [story]. I don’t want to spoil anything. At the same time, I’m like, ‘Hmmm, maybe if this doesn’t happen, it’d be fun to talk about it.’ I’d be happy to come back. I’d be honoured to come back. Hallorann was always more about Dick as a younger man learning about the shining.

“The Doctor Sleep novel tees up a prologue for it perfectly with the story of his grandmother and his grandfather. Which he tells a little bit of in this [film]. But the idea was to open with him as [Doctor Sleep actor] Carl Lumbley, 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. But I don’t know. I don’t know what we would 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.”

See the interview, below.

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