Mike Flanagan Loves That Stephen King’s Prediction About ‘Doctor Sleep’ Came True

A lot of people slept on Doctor Sleep, and without any context, that sounds like a good thing. But it’s not. The sequel to The Shining expanded the Stephen King universe beyond what Stanley Kubrick brought to the screen in 1980. Ewan McGregor starred as the now-grown Danny, who is still coming to terms with his traumatic childhood and psychic powers after that catastrophic ending which turned his dad Jack (Jack Nicholson) into a glorified ice pop.

While Doctor Sleep wasn’t a blockbuster hit (why would a horror film hit theaters in November after everyone is all spooked out?!), the movie has received more favorable reviews in the years since. Probably because people are just now recognizing the genius of Rebecca Ferguson, or maybe it’s because two-plus hour movies have become the norm again.

This week, director Mike Flanagan reacted to The Hollywood Reporter‘s list that ranked Doctor Sleep as one of the best sequels of the last 20 years. He seems vindicated.

On X, The Haunting of Hill House creator posted, “After a disappointing opening weekend at the box office, @StephenKing predicted time would be kind to DOCTOR SLEEP and I love that it continues to find and build its audience half a decade later. This movie is close to my heart.”

Right before the film’s premiere in 2019, King was hard at work praising Flanagan and the film (while throwing a slight dig at Kubrick). “Mike Flanagan, I’ve enjoyed all his movies, and I’ve worked with him before on Gerald’s Game,” he told EW. “So, I read the script very, very carefully and I said to myself, ‘Everything that I ever disliked about the Kubrick version of The Shining is redeemed for me here.'”

Flanagan and King are teaming up once again for another film, this time based on King’s novella The Life of Chuck, starring Tom Hiddleston.