EXCLUSIVE: After the out-sized grosses on the Stephen King novel adaptation It, Warner Bros has put it sequel to King’s The Shining on the fast track. Mike Flanagan has been set to direct Doctor Sleep, an adaptation of the 2013 King novel that picks up the life of the Redrum kid Danny Torrance when he is in his 40s and struggling with the same demons of anger and alcoholism that plagued his father.
Flanagan will rewrite the script originally adapted by Akiva Goldsman. Flanagan’s producing partner Trevor Macy will produce along with Vertigo Entertainment’s Jon Berg, and Goldsman is executive producer.
The novel begins as Torrance carries the trauma of the Overlook Hotel into adulthood. He’s become a reflection of his murderous father, with lingering rage and a drinking problem that dulls his pain as well as his “shining” powers. Those powers return when he embraces sobriety and uses his gift to help the dying at a hospice. He establishes a psychic connection with a young girl who shares his extreme abilities, and who is being targeted by a scary group with the similar abilities. They’ve found that their powers grow if they inhale the “steam” that comes off others with the power to shine, when they are suffering painful deaths. There are direct connections to the Overlook Hotel and the incidents there that informed The Shining, which Stanley Kubrick directed in the classic 1980 Warner Bros film that starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and Scatman Crothers. Kevin McCormick is overseeing Doctor Sleep for Warner Bros.
Flanagan helmed the horror hit Oculus, and he and Macy just teamed for the Netflix adaptation of the King novel Gerald’s Game, which stars Carla Gugino. Flanagan and Macy are currently in production on The Haunting of Hill House for Netflix, and their other collaborations are Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Before I Wake. Latter was released on Netflix January 5.
Macy’s Intrepid Pictures is currently in pre-production on the Paramount Players horror thriller Eli, directed by Ciarán Foy.
Flanagan is repped by WME, Novo and Joel VanderKloot; Goldsman is WME and Hansen Jacobson.