It may not have lived up to its predecessor — how could it? — but Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep was one of the better Stephen King adaptations in recent years. It’s worth watching for Rose the Hat alone. And unlike the Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall-starring original, King gave his blessing to Doctor Sleep, saying, “I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself, everything that I ever disliked about the [Stanley] Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.” He did have one note, though.
“When [Jacob Tremblay’s character] got killed, [King] leaned over to me and said, ‘That’s a little brutal, isn’t it?’ We changed it. We backed off,” Flanagan told the Kingcast podcast. “When he saw it, we maybe cut to Jacob two additional times, so there were two more stabs. We took those out. That was the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been on a set. That was horrible for everyone except Jacob, who had a blast. That was Stephen’s only note for the movie.” Tremblay lived in a shed for five years. He’s fine.
Flanagan also discussed his next movie based on a King book, Revival. “What I love about it is it’s a return to cosmic horror, which I think is so fun. It is relentlessly dark and cynical and I’m enjoying the hell out of that,” he said. “I haven’t gotten to end a movie [this] way since Absentia, maybe? Maybe Ouija? This one was a really fun piece of material for me because I get to be like, oh, you want a dark ending? Cool, get ready.”
You can listen to the full Kingcast episode here.